.Ritual; a bit of advice.

I had a few quick thoughts and felt compelled to write them down. 🙂

When starting on my path the one thing that I remember struggling with the most was ritual. Where do you start with it? It can be so intimidating. There’s a lot of ground to cover in what feels like not enough to really lay it out simply. Some people get very caught up in the formalities of ritual. I know I used to. But the older I got and the more time I spent in my path, the more I learned that even if you cannot do something extravagant, it doesn’t matter. We all live very busy lives, work, school, families, appointments and what have you. Most of the time we’re not thinking about when the next Sabbat is going to be. Which is very understandable. I myself will soon become a full time student. I can tell you, my homework is going to have to come first. Even on the full moon. But that doesn’t stop me from taking a moment to go outside and sit with a cup of tea. Watch the moon rise, or just listen to nature. Those sorts of things really help if you focus on the what’s small and not everything on such a larger scale.

Another thing I would suggest is a journal. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a Book of Shadows. It could just be a journal that you keep all your thoughts on when it comes to your spiritual path. And if that’s what you want your Book of Shadows to be than by all means! However, I find that I absorb things better if I take notes, or write about them. Get my feelings out on the subject and really explore it. Writing things down is your best friend when you’re starting to learn just how to really do ritual. Take notes one what types of rituals you’d like to do. The lay outs of them. Make diagrams even or lists. More than anything I will stress that actually having a physical journal to write in is probably better. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology. But I find that on my online journals / blogs, I am not %100 honest with myself. Further more, there’s a lot more comfort and a sense of a accomplishment that can come from having something physical you’re working with. Plus it helps to just get the questions out of your head. I am the type of person who is always thinking. So you can only imagine how I took to learning my path. It has taken years for me to really start to absorb it in the way I feel I am meant to.

With that being said I know this was a tad thrown together. Just to prove my point a bit more I suppose. I hope I did help a bit on this subject though. Please feel free to comment if you have any questions.


.The Miko, adding a touch of Shinto to my practice.

My good friend The Runica asked me to shed some light on my facination with the Miko, otherwise known as Shinto Priestesses and how they are linked to my path personally.

Miko (巫女?, literallys means ‘shaman woman’. Much like the medicine women that are supposedly existed in the ancient Celtic tribes, these women dressed in white and red are the oracles, shaman and main performers of the Shinto religion. Medicine women were told to be the direct link to the goddess. The Miko serve the same purpose to what in Shinto is called “Okami-sama” or their form of deity, god, what have you. It was said that traditionally Miko were supposed to go into trances and commune with the gods. Many beliefs sounding the Miko are also linked to Japanese Mythology. Modernly they are now young women, mostly students who work part time at temples and preform in temple functions, dancing, selling charms, preforming blessings and fortune-telling. (I would so love to have that job.)

So why am I interested in the Miko? Well, one, it’s just another thing in the Japanese culture I am completely drawn to. Secondly, the Japanese view religion completely differently than most western societies do. It mostly pertains to universal energy and life force. Which gains my profound respect seeing as my own beliefs float around the same general idea. As for the Miko themselves I cannot tell you how fascinating it is to me every time a culture puts women in a high spiritual place. Women are more naturally intuitive and tend to be more connected to their spiritual selves most of the time. This whole concept just lights me up. I really cannot get enough of it. Much like the geisha, I view the Miko as a living, breathing form of art. With a deeper spiritual link than the geisha of course. These women are the link to the spirit world in Shinto. Much like we ourselves are in Paganism. I have actually been looking for a legit Miko outfit to practice in actually. I occasionally practice ritual in a kimono as a little touch for my love of the culture. (This is why I am majoring in the language. I had to have had some sort of past life experience in Japan! It’s the only explanation for my pull towards the culture. 🙂 )

I honestly believe that added bits and pieces of other cultures and beliefs to your path is something that really should be considored. After all, a big part of being Pagan is to form our own paths and what works right for us alone. Most cultures have already been adapted to Pagan beliefs. Think about the Chakra’s? Or the many different pantheons? I am sure I am not the first person to bring touches of Shinto and even Buddhism into my path. I really believe it gives a very unique touch to it and it helps me mold my path into what I really would like it to be.

There are several other pieces of the Shinto religion that I keep in my practice. One of which is the Kamidana, which basically translates to spirit altar. They are used much like our altars where certain items are placed as ritual affects, offerings to appease spirits and what have you. Some Kamidana can be used to speak with the dead. Which is one practice I tend to use quite a bit. Often I will light a candle and just speak with my departed grandfather, asking for guidance much like he would provide for me in life. Many of these same practices exist in Japanese homes as well.

Here is a photo of my altar at the moment in the corner which I have started to keep a small section for my grandfather. As you can see there is a photo of him (holding me actually) a piece of rose quartz to represent love (that and I had a dream where I found some in his workshop, so I felt the need to keep some near his photo after that) as well as a piece of amethyst to provide clarity and psychic power when I speak with him. (And my maneki neko, the lucky cat, haha). This is pretty much the same concept as a Kamidana would be in a Japanese household but theirs looks like the photo above there.

Another piece of Shinto that is added to my practice is these amulets which are called Omamori. Starting from the left they are, ‘Michiharaki Omamori’ The life compass (To help guide me to make the right choices in my life), ‘Gei no Omamori’ (For inspiration, success and protecting in the arts) and ‘Enmusubi’ to help provide a loving and healthy romantic relationship. I have the pink one because I am a woman. Your lover, if they are a man, is suppose to have a blue one. 🙂 (I need to get one for Abe, but I don’t think he’d go for it. He’s quite agnostic! haha) As we all know, the concept of amulets and charms are certainly not foreign to us in Paganism with mojo bags, herbs, necklaces, dream pillows. This is just another way of looking at it. 🙂

I hope you found my rant on incorporating Shinto and the Miko into my practice. You can look up more information on Shinto by google of course. 🙂 And if you’re curious, I got my charms at Tsubaki Grand Shrine. I actually physically went there because it is in Washington State. But you can get their charms online. Just search ‘Tsubaki Grand Shrine’. I tried to put a link in here, but wordpress hates me and I cannot get it to work the way I want. ^^; So yes, feel free to ask me any questions. I know this is a rather different way to incorporating certain things into my path but it’s really shocking how similar they are.

.My ink.

Serenarian via twitter asked me to post a blog about my tattoos and the meaning behind them all. Seeing as I adore my ink, I couldn’t resist!

Firstly I love tattoos and have since I was a kid. I got my first one when I was 19. (Which, I will go in chronological order for) When I told my mother about it she was not in the least bit surprised. Most of my family (and I stress, most) is supportive of my tattoos by now. But one sad thing with tattoos is no matter the type of person you are, if you have them, you’ll still get pegged with the age old “rebellious” stereotypes. (Not that I mind being rebellious on occasion 😉 ) So if you are looking into getting inked for the first time, take that sad fact into account. I haven’t run into too much trouble, but I do believe tattoos should be more wildly accepted now and days. Especially with how open our society is becoming. Onto why I decided to start collecting tattoos. Well, I believe that there’s a very spiritual connection to tattoos. The process, the commitment, the creativity in it all. It’s just an amazing experience. Especially the pain. I am not one for pain at all, but every time I get a tattoo I feel so empowered. And they honestly make me feel more confident. Each tattoo that I have received so far has had a very important meaning to me. I will also share other projects that I plan on getting with you guys as well in here. There are a few that I am already dead set on. Now, onto my ink itself:

This is my first tattoo. I had decided on it when I was about 15. I didn’t get it until I was 19 of course. I was with my ex’s mother who was getting one for herself. I wanted to come along because of my fascination with tattoos. When suddenly she turned to me and asked if I wanted one. I was pretty shocked but immediately pulled out my kanji dictionary from my bag. (Being the nerd that I am), turned to the page that had ‘water’ on it and said,”This one. I want this one.” They were a tad shocked I was so certain but it instilled confidence in my artist. He liked that I just knew right away and didn’t just pick something off the wall. Spiritually this tattoo is pretty obvious as to what it represents. It’s actually incomplete too. Right below it I plan to be air as well. 🙂 I cannot wait.

This is my second tattoo that my mother got me when I turned 20. It represents a whole lot of different things for me actually. Water, my favorite fish and my favorite flowers. But mostly, it’s the Yin & Yang which I have adored the concept to since I was a child. In elementary I used to wear a Yin & Yang necklace (I was so Pagan, even as a kid! haha!). I base a lot of my path off of the concept of the Yin & Yang. The fact that one cannot exsist with out the other has always guided me and helped me answer a lot of wonders in life. It’s something I hold very deeply. This tattoo resides on my right shoulder. On my left, I plan to put my pentacle. 🙂 It only seems fitting.

This was my third tattoo which resides on my right wrist. It’s the Kanji for ‘Dream’. Now, I know what you’re thinking,”Why not put ‘Air’ on the right wrist?” I thought about it too, but I why I decided to go with dream and then put my two elements on one arm is because my grandfather raised me to never forget my dreams. I needed to have a daily reminder of that. Like my other wrist though, this one is not finished. Below will have the Kanji for ‘Spirit’. So it will soon read ‘Dream Spirit’. Which, I hope, is rather self-explanatory. 🙂

My fourth. 🙂 The Kanji for ‘Ocean’. This was to pay tribute to my family, my linage and mostly where I am from. For those who do not know, I am from Seattle, WA. I grew up around the ocean and thus have a very profound connection with it. I come from a line of sailors. Even my great grandfather who was lost at sea.

Ah the fifth, and the one I get the most comments on. This tattoo I got a little over a year ago now. It was a big commitment for me to go through. Because it was the largest area I have tattooed so far. And it’s about to get bigger. 🙂 I am turning it into a half sleeve. This piece was actually taken from an art work that I had seen and fallen in love with. I changed it up again. (The fan, the blue moon, the purple sky and the floating cherry blossoms.) Why a geisha you ask? When it comes to the perfect display of feminine energy and grace I see the geisha. They are art in living form. That is what they do. I’ve always been completely fascinated by them. I hope the spiritual representations define themselves here.

As for future projects on my tattoos I have already committed to having a blue Maneki Neko (Lucky cat) on my left side, starting just above my hip. I collect the Maneki Neko actually and if you guys remember, one is always sitting on my altar. They bring me joy, happiness and good luck. Why have it blue? One, to add a bit of me in there and two to make it a bit different. Another piece I am designing is one that will be on the outer part of my right ankle. It’s going to be about 6 to 8 inches up my leg. It’s a piece for my late grandfather. I am having a guitar as the main focus (Because he played) as well as several other things that represent him. I won’t share too much right now because it’s such a personal piece, but once it’s finished you guys will get to see. 🙂 Another is the pentacle on my left shoulder. I wanted to get it for my 25th birthday because this year marks 10 years of my being pagan. But I am not %100 on the design yet. So that one will have to wait. On the same leg that I mentioned the tattoo for my grandfather I will have another on the other side of my ankle (The inside part) that will be 3 flowers going up my leg from the top of the ankle. The each represent the 3 women in my life that have inspired me. My mother and two grandmothers. A purple lily for my grandmother Lily (hee hee), a red rose for my grandmother Marylane and a pink tulip for my mother. The pink in the tulip represents my mother’s battle against breast cancer. Surrounding these flowers will be cherry blossoms to represent myself. 🙂 One last tattoo I am set on is one my friend has. I plan to get it to represent the connection I have had with her for over a decade as well as the thing that brought us together. ❤ Aside from that I do plan on getting some nerdy tattoos as well (haha ^^; ) But those are on the back burner as well.

So! I hope you enjoy me rambling about my body art. Hopefully it explains a bit more about the person that I am.

.Forming the connection.

HGfreak via twitter asked me to do a blog entry on how to connect with nature and the divine when you’re so completely swallowed up in the mundane.

With our daily lives it can be really hard to keep our spiritual selves in check. We have may jobs, school, familes, worries, bills, other obligations. At the end of the day the last thing you want to do is come home and spend more energy casting a circle. But being Pagan is a way of life. And it’s important to keep your spiritual self just as alive as the rest of you. There are many things I usually do to help jump start my spirit. Baths with candles and herbs is one. Plus they help relax you after a stressful day. If you have a dominate element spending a bit of time just communicating with it will be very helpful as well. As most of you know mine is water. When I feel I need a spiritual boost or something to help clear my head a tend to go swimming. Just being around my element really helps me connect. For Earth, Air and Fire some suggestions would be going on a nature walk, gardening, lighting a candle and fire gazing, having a bond fire, sitting outside and just listening to the wind through the trees on a clear day. Nature walks are another I really take advantage of a lot. Some times we just need to be reminded of what makes us believe what we do and why. When you go on a nature walk pick a place with lots of woodland areas. Take everything in. I like to bring a camera and take photos of whatever inspires me. Some times it’s nice to take a moment and sit down to just listen. If you’re very sensitive to energy, try putting your hand, palm down, on the earth. Close your eyes and just listen to her heart beat. Trust me, she’s there, always speaking in some form. If you’re a night person like me, you might benefit from some star gazing. Just last night I drove out to a cliff over looking the Minnesota river and snapped some shots of the full moon. There’s nothing more incredible than gazing up at a beautiful full moon or a night sky just painted in stars. Trust me, if you pay enough attention, it will move you.

If you’re unable to get out of the house for the day, here are some things you can do at home to help connect. One of the herb bath I mentioned above. There are many difference recipes for herb baths, so look them up and find what one works for you. Just be cautious if you have allergies. Some small, simple, quick things would be lighting a few candles and inviting that warming energy into a room. Or burning incense to cleanse out any lingering negativity. Some times I just like to cast a circle and sit in it while reading, writing or just contemplating. Another obvious and rather common one is meditation. Which honestly I am a novice at. I have a hard time turning off my brain from my worries. Anxiety is a really kicker for me. But one thing I have found that helps is using sound or music to keep my focus. I personally love rain sounds. You can find these in music stores, itunes or even in app stores if you have a smart phone. I have one for my iphone and it is amazing. It’s called relax melodies. It’s free too, which is always a plus. Head phones are your friend too. As long as you know you won’t be needed any time soon, plug them in and just drift away. You’ll come out feeling magickally charged. I would also suggest sitting down with your tools and handling each one of them. See how they feel. Do they have the right energy? Do they need to be cleansed? Or maybe just sit out for a bit? Just last night I started to do a tarot reading which I had not done in months. After a few minutes of shuffling my cards I noticed that they were caked in negative energy. I immediately cleansed them in cedar incense and held them between my palms imagining them being cleansed of all negativity. Some times you cannot tell right away, so hold the item for a bit. Even just spending some time with your tools, or taking a few minutes at your altar will help you remember your spiritual self. I have yet to try daily prayers and chants myself, but I would certainly suggest those as well.

We all become disconnected from time to time and it can be really hard to keep your grip on your spiritual life. Just remember what you believe and why you believe it. Again I say, Paganism is a way of life. You should make some small gesture to live it every day. Even if you just stop for a second to look up at the sky and admire it while on your way to class or work. One last point I’d like to bring up is to carry something with you that reminds you of your faith. It can be anything from a stone to a pentacle like mine. Just something. Hold it when you feel stressed, anxious or worried. I subconsciously tend to reach up and grab my pentacle when I am nervous. I never noticed it until some one else who knew me well enough pointed it out.

I do hope I helped by giving some pointers on this. It’s something we call struggle with every day. But all it takes is just a little reminder. 🙂

.An explanation.

I wanted to start this blog for a lot of different reasons. One of which was to explain why my youtube channel went down. The other was to keep going in some form. I have always been better writing my words than sitting in front of a camera trying to fumble them out. I’ve never been a public speaker. The truth is, I am a introvert at heart. The very fact that I even made a youtube channel and kept it for so long is a shock to me. It’s only been a few days and I am questioning if my decision was the right one to make. Truthfully, youtube started to feel like high school. A lot of people hating me for a lot of foolish reasons. The very fact that I eventually let it crush me is something I am not too proud of. Especially since I know that I have done so much good with my channel. My other worry was the I couldn’t provide all that I feel my subs deserved. I cannot express how much I appreciated them. It felt amazing to know I could make a difference some how. I think I often underestimated that fact. Lastly, I will be starting school full time in the fall and finally working towards a better future for myself. I worry that I may not have time for a channel. Seeing as I was already struggling to make videos enough as it was. I felt horrible for saying I’d post something and then find I don’t have the time for it. Once school starts, my studies are going to require my full concentration. I have never been in college full time yet and am quite nervous about it.

But I wanted to keep a part of me as Lady Lusea very much alive. I felt I couldn’t turn my back on everyone I helped over the last two years. Will I return to youtube? I really cannot say yet. Maybe I just need some time. Maybe I just need to start over some how. Either way, there’s a lot going on to make my path very uncertain right now. At the very least, I can have this blog until I sort things out with myself. I will continue to be talking about Paganism / Wicca and my spiritual journey. I will be taking requests and am more than happy to answer any questions just as I always have. Maybe now I can be a bit more on top of things. I always felt bad for never being too consistent.  For now, this is what I can give. I only hope it will be enough.

-Lady Lusea

On Twitter:

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.