Thursday, January 2, 2014

Work Yesterday

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Sorry I have been neglecting this blog, lots of things have happened this past year.

But here is a great post to start off 2014

Work yesterday
(also titled, The trouble with Proselytizing)
So yesterday I worked from 5pm to 11pm and
 it was a pretty normal day. I work in a hotel near
Disney World so I get a lot of different guests coming
 into my hotel from all over the world. 
Last night I had a family from California, who were
 transplants from some other country (they spoke a
language I didn’t understand) 
Upon getting them to their table and asking what I could
 get them to drink they asked for my name, Then the man
 promptly grabbed my arm and asked me if I was a Christian. 
Because I was taken aback and not prepared for this rather
 intrusive question, I said no and then tried again for
their drink order so I could leave and go back to work. 
He said, “Whats your religion?” I didn’t answer, I just
smiled and asked for the drink order again.
 ”Oh please let me help you” and then made me
stand there and recite the “Jesus please come into my
heart” prayer. 
Now some would say that because I didn’t mean it its
 no big deal, but it is a big deal. 
This man, this total stranger had no right to A: force
me into an awkward situation at my place of business,
B: touch me at all, C: demand that I answer to his God
 before letting me go and D: to try to save me at all. 
I am highly disgusted and upset at this, and I am less
upset about the fact that he touched my arm and made
 me feel uncomfortable. I am more upset over the fact
 that the form of Saving he attempted on me is one that
 back when I was Christian I used myself. Except I did it
the Right way. 
I ASKED PERMISSION FROM THE PERSON
I ASKED IF THEY WANTED TO BE SAVED. 
Which sometimes meant that I was with them numerous
times, we were together out of will and consent rather
than invading my privacy. 
I have nothing against Christianity. 
I have everything against forceful proselytizing. 
If you decide its a good idea to grab someone by the
arm and force them to accept a strange deity into their
 heart against their will, you are not a Godly person,
you are a MONSTER and deserve to go to
EVERY HELL from every faith. 
"But Wow, that is so harsh"
No its not, because effectively you just made a
mockery of not only MY faith and core beliefs,
you also made fun of your own, and the people
who are really doing a good thing for others. 
Proselytizing is a wonderful thing when done properly,
its when you do it just because you can that you should
 be slapped in the face right then and there. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Balance is

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so important in the world of Witchcraft and Paganism.

When we are out of balance, our Magick is out of Balance...and that is not good.


So this week I challenge you to find a bit of balance. Do something routine. At the exact same time everyday do a meditation, some Divination, or journal. Do this until it becomes necessary to your life. Do this until it becomes just as much a part of your life as breathing.

Start now, don't wait.

Blessed Be.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

!!!The Outer Binding is reopening!!!

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The Outer Binding is reopening!!!
I am going to be reopening my etsy shop in a few weeks!!!! On top of my usual Herbal products, I am adding Pendulums, Necklaces and earrings, and a few other things!
Be sure to like me on Facebook to stay updated!

t’s going to be reopening sometime in late march, early April. 
Until then, I came up with 22 new product ideas today! Currently I have demo products for 4 of them.
The item I am working on this afternoon is a seed bead embellished spell box…..I totally underestimated the time it takes to place seed beads…..
I hope you guys and gals will enjoy my products when I am done!
Fun fact about my etsy shop: 
Most products will retail for less than $20!!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Cultural Appropriation: What it is, and what it isn't

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I love websites like Tumblr, Wikipedia, and YouTube. So do most of you.
The Internet has brought us into a new age of living. We can now learn about things, that our parents never could. Things like how to wear a traditional Indian Sari, how to properly perform a Native American Smudging Ritual, We can learn the history behind Tattooing and Language. Things from other countries, other cultures, are now able to be apart of our own culture.
And the new trend among our Web-Based Culture? Cultural Appropriation.
Never heard of it? No worries, I am here to give you some insight into what this new-found form of "Anti-Racism" is all about.

According to http://dictionary.reference.com
Appropriate means

to take to or for oneself; take possession of.
to take without permission or consent; seize; expropriate: He appropriated the trust funds for himself.
to steal, especially to commit petty theft.

Culture is defined as:
the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group

So Cultural Appropriation in essence means: to steal without permission the beliefs or behaviors of another group outside of your own culture.

Do you know how complicated that really is to not do in America?
I grew up in Michigan, back in 1674 my ancestral Grandfather on my mothers side was born in Scotland, grew up in Scotland, and got on a boat and came to the New World, where he most likely killed a few "Savages" Which is the horrid name Native Americans were called back then according to Pop Culture of Today.  (That's right, my family were Pilgrims)
My family has been here ever since. I was raised American. Through and through. I never learned Gaelic, how to make Haggis, I couldn't even show you where Scotland is on a map.
But I consider myself Scottish. I honor my Ancient Heritage. I did research, bought a Rosetta Stone language CD-ROM, tracked down the original Tartan Print of my Clan, and listen to Scottish Folk music. And you know what? That is Cultural Appropriation. Why? Because I stole things from a culture outside my own without permission. You might be saying, But Elirea, your blood gives you permission, your family line gives you permission, etc.
 NOPE!
According to the definition of Cultural Appropriation, I just committed a serious offense against another Culture. It doesn't matter that my intentions are not hostile. It doesn't matter the hours upon hours of research, emails, books and websites I scoured for info, nor does it matter that I can trace my family back to Scotland. You know why? Because I was raised in Michigan. Giving me no rights whatsoever to the Scottish Culture. On my dads side, I have Native American blood, but because I wasn't raised on the Res, or in that culture, I can't honor my heritage there either.

Sounds pretty ridiculous now doesn't it?

There are tons of examples of Cultural Appropriation all over the United States. And lately, it seems as though people are picking and choosing things that offend them. People almost seem to be seeking out something to get worked up about.
Here are some examples of Cultural Appropriation you, YES YOU, commit on a DAILY basis (No this doesn't imply that you do every one of these things on a daily basis, but you do one of them probably)

  • Use chopsticks at an Asian based restaurant 
  • Speaking a language other than the one you grew up with 
  • Saying "As American as Apple Pie"
  • Smudging your house, Ritual Circle, or other space
  • If you are Christian, You're just screwed, because you all took stuff from other people
  • Wiccans, (even me) You too.
  • If you enjoy Rap Music
  • Wearing a Bindi or getting a Henna Tattoo
  • Getting a regular Tattoo
  • have Dreadlocks
  • wear Moccasin looking slippers or shoes
  • wearing jewelry made from Turquoise
  • put up a Christmas Tree
Just to name a few
Welcome to the world of Cultural Appropriation! Leave your Freedom at the door!
When I was little? I was an Indian Princess with the YMCA, it was like Girl Scouts, except with a Native american theme. I was "Plays with Squirrels" because I had a pet squirrel.
One year, to teach me and my brother respect for other cultures, we celebrated Kwanzaa
I have a bridal Planning company, which I named after a Native American Dreamcatcher

In America, we are a HUGE blend of Cultures that come together and form a new culture. As a Wiccan Convert, I "Steal without permission" many things that to me, are SACRED.

I smudge my house, I keep a broom by the door, I jump the broom at Ritual, I anoint my forehead, hands and feet with oil, I wear a veil on my head and I worship Deities from all over the World from all points in History...But the newest thing people are doing? Is calling me out on it. Telling me I am not allowed to do that because it is Cultural Appropriation.

Guess what? SCREW YOU!!!!!

Cultural Appropriation has a place. Mainstream Fashion is a HUGE offender. Fluffy Bunny Pagans, the ones who don't know any better (Yet) are huge offenders. Government is a huge offender.

I believe that the definition of Cultural appropriation, needs to be changed. We live in a NEW WORLD OF TECHNOLOGY
We can share traditions with people like never before. We can explain why things are sacred, we can teach Respect for each others beliefs. We are now a world Wide culture, and things that weren't a part of us, now are.

Here is how I think Cultural Appropriation should be defined:
The taking, stealing, using of some Tradition, Image, or other thing from another culture without knowledge of, Respect for, or understanding of, significance of the culture in which it comes from. Example: Wearing a Bindi because you think it is cute, wearing a NA war headdress because its pretty etc.

Here is what it is not.
Cultural Appropriation is NOT
me smudging my house to be rid of evil spirits
wearing a Hijab style head covering (or any head covering for that matter)
using chopsticks
dancing a Tango
getting a tattoo
listening to music
wearing a corset
putting up a Christmas Tree
being Christian or Wiccan
ETC

Still not convinced that Cultural Appropriation needs to be edited? Think about it this way:
When Christianity was born, back in the day, In order to gain strength as a Religion, they had to steal and borrow holidays, Deities, traditions etc, from all the cultures of the places they were trying to control in order to get followers. Now, no one says "You're Culturally appropriating my culture! (Except the Pagans, because lets face it, we just can't control ourselves sometimes) Christians have been using those traditions for so long now, that it is a part of that culture.
This doesn't mean you shouldn't still hold things sacred and protect your traditions from the hands of those who will disrespect what you hold dear, but what it does mean is that you need to get down off your high horse, and realize the world we live in now.

I can't wait for the emails I am going to receive about this, and ya know what? That's fine. I can handle it.
But before you go off on me, telling me I am a racist bitch or whatever else you come up with, look around your house. Look in your iTunes playlist. Check your closet. If you can tell me you have never culturally appropriated? Think again.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Happy New Year!!!!

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Okay, so I'm a little late....but thats okay, because you still love me right?
Anyways, New Year, New Blog! So, if you are reading this, post a comment telling me what you would like to see in 2013. Seriously, I need suggestions. DO IT NOW!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Mental illness and the Craft

2 comments:
WARNING POSSIBLE TRIGGERS FOR DEPRESSION, ADHD and BIPOLAR as well as hoarding

I love being a witch. It brings me peace. It gives me purpose. But sometimes, when my days are sunny but my mind is all darkness, I just sit and stare and pray for silence.
I have a plethora of mental issues. My brain just doesn't work like it should. I have depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD and probably some other forms of crazy thrown in there. Being unemployed and a hoarder doesn't help matters either. I can't afford medication or therapy so I am forced to sit back in my corner and weep for unknown reasons, to get frustrated at the drop of a hat. I want to understand why I am like this and yet I can't. I want to cast a spell and make It all go away, but I can't.
I am the worst type of hoarder, I don't hoard keepsakes or clothes or things, I hoard trash, useless things that do nobody any good. I toss them on the floor and don't notice if things get messy. I just walk around it content to pick it up another day. That day rarely comes. I have gotten better with the help I my boyfriend, but he doesn't understand me. He gets upset and angry that he has to tell a 23 year old woman when to clean the kitchen or pick up her room. I try making lists, setting alarms, but I lack all motivation to do such things. They aren't what I want to do, so I don't do them. I put them off for another day..so what can I, a bipolar, hoarding, depressed hyperactive witch do?
What I can do is pray. I can work magick for self confidence and motivation, meditate on keeping still for longer lengths of time, I can practice making incense to help calm my shattered nerves. I can do all this because I am a witch. Being who I am meant to be keeps me sane, keeps me going, keeps me alive. On the days when I practice magick my panic attacks are fewer, my house gets a little cleaner, my boyfriend comes home to a better energy.
There really wasn't a need for this post other than I think it's important I share my...mind with others. Bring myself out of the solitude and into the light.
It is also so those who need to can come forward and share there stories with me. So I know, and you know you aren't alone in the world. That above all is most important.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

New YouTube Video Series!

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Hello Sweeties!
I am in the process of updating my Youtube channel with new videos, something I have not done since, well, since I don’t remember how long ago! and I am in need of your help! 
Please fill my Email Ladyelireaivy@gmail.com with questions!!!  
My plan is to make 6-10 videos each answering 10 or so questions. So far, I have 2!!!! So please keep them coming! 
I will begin posting Videos on January 10! 
Here are some of the things I am knowledgeable on(but feel free to ask others too!):
  • Wicca
  • Paganism
  • Witchcraft
  • Tarot
  • Dreams
  • Wiccan Rede
  • Pendulums
  • Spirit Communication
  • Stones and Gems
  • Herbs
  • Candle Magick
  • Celtic Paganism
  • Firefly Wicca
  • Spells 
  • Rituals
  • Spiritual Advice