The Rowdy Goddess

An Ecstatic Vision of the Goddess, dancing in harmony with the Universe.

Archive for the category “Questions”

Tchotchke Oracle: Rocking the Magic of Everyday Things

contents of tchotchke oracle

Tchotchke Oracle

As we enter the path of Wicca, Paganism, or adopt a new divination system, we enter a new world of exploration, and of shiny objects and alluring collections of really neat things.  Garb, cloaks, fantastic objects, athames, wands, and so much more.  We can be lead to believe that we need the perfect cloak, the ideal chalice, and all the other accoutrements available.  I once quipped (and have never lived down) that this is the shopping religion.  The same was true, I might add, of mainstream religions.  When I was a Christian, I spent a great deal of meager salary on the perfect leather-bound Bible with gold-edge pages in exactly the right translation.  Then I accumulated more translations and commentaries.  None of these things deepened my walk with Deity; study, communication, fellowship, and prayer did that.  The same is true of the Pagan path.  It is our actions and connections that bring us closer to Spirit. Deborah Blake writes about this online and in her book, Witchcraft on a Shoestring.    She presents practical and frugal ways to practice our Craft along with ways to be authentic and magical.
I once heard Ted Andrews speak and he said that nature is speaking to us all the time and that we need to turn our minds and our ears to hear a new language.  I think the same is true with objects.  The objects we have in our lives accumulate meaning and symbolism that mean something to us personally.  We can read that meaning and let the objects talk to us, help us solve or problems, or lead us to new insights.   This idea was further verified when a friend on Facebook, Morewenna, posted a picture of her Magpie Oracle.
Her posting spurred a lot of conversation and discussion and I realized I could do this too.  I would name mine Tchotchke Oracle for several reasons.  Tchotcke is fun to say, my father used to pepper his talk with Yiddish phrases picked up from people he met in his gregarious ways, and I grew up in an area rich in Jewish lore, customs, and humor.  One woman told me her fiance defined the word tchotchke as “cute little things” and he referred to his balls as tchotchkes.
Kristen Madden in her book, Magick, Mystery, and Medicine has an activity she calls a junk walk.  Go outdoors and with your spiritual mind notice things for your junk bag.  Ask permission to take it with you, and then add it to your bag.  This bag and the contents can guide you and the nature spirits will talk with you through the contents.
I went around my house cleaning out draws, crannies, and other hidden places for little things to put in my oracle.  These things reflect my eccentric interests, hobbies, spiritual path and family life.  There are charms, shells, buttons, and all sorts of items.  I am proud of the fact that I didn’t have to buy a things, not even the bag.  It is large.  Plastic, manufactured, useful, and not useful were all part of the oracle.  I did a little ceremony in front of my altar to welcome the wisdom of the oracle into my life.
I’ve used it in several ways.  I had the members of a shamanic class I was leading put together their own oracle bag.  We were exploring a particular question so each of us drew objects from our own bag and talked about what it said in relationship to the question.  Since the amalgam of our insights were not clear, we drew a map to represent the question since it was centered on a place.  We then closed our eyes and tossed (gently) our objects onto the picture.  I then drummed and we journeyed to the place and explored our question.  Our journeys and the objects intertwined and overlapped, giving us all deeper insights into the complex question we were exploring.
I’ve drawn objects at random moments when I’ve needed a lift, at a time of reflection, or just fooling around.  I have laid out objects in a pattern used for Tarot so each object serves a role or poses a question.  I then read the objects in relationship to their position and then as a collective message.  Sometimes the oracle speaks clearly, sometimes eloquently, sometimes mysteriously, and at other times, just kicks my butt.  I’ve used it in tandem with Tarot, my divination tool of choice to augment a reading.
Others, such as Carrie Paris , have developed oracles according to other systems such as Lenormand.  On her website, she provides a free sheet that you can download.  You then place your charms, objects, and tchotckes and read it in relationship to whatever you are exploring.
This time of year is one of two where the veil between the worlds are the thinnest.  The messages and omens from the other realms are more easily accessed.  It is a time of ancestors, death, harvest, waning times, and preparation for hibernation (retreat).  Every time is a good time to reach out, this may be an easier time.
Wishing you an open heart, ears to hear, and eyes to see.  May the Spirits speak their love and blessings to you!

 

 

 

Are You Blogging About Me?

I’ve been busy. Last September I got married in a wonderful ceremony attended by friends and family. Even those who could not attend marked the occasion in special ways. It was wonderful. Mouse and I have been together for eight years now and formalizing our commitment has marked stronger relationship.

In January, Mouse had a mild stroke. Mostly it’s been okay but for about two months, life was focused and intent on surgeries and long term recovery. He’s doing fine with very few limitations and renewed interest in paying attention to diet and exercise. It’s all good. It’s actually a relief that both of us can say this out loud without feeling awful about it. It is what it is.

I’ll write about our new dogs later.

At one point when he was feeling low and I guess I was spending time on the computer/Facebook, he asked me “Are you blogging about me?” It was in a melancholy voice that said in subtext, I’m causing you so much trouble… are you writing about it. I told him that I never write about anything that is private between us. First and foremost, I handle the issues between us as between us. I don’t tell the world first. So as Mouse and I journey together through these changes, I’ll be talking to him rather than blog-verse.

Both of us are private people even if I am a writer and have become much more gregarious as I gotten older. Some issues stay private. The discernment between sharing lessons learned and honoring privacy is an ongoing lesson as well as a commitment made to others. It is a process of growth in understanding as well.

As a witch and priestess, I took vows not to reveal the names and addresses of those in my group, circle, or coven. This hearkens back to the custom of the old ways where it was very dangerous to be known as a witch. Even in this day and age, depending on where you work, live, and play it could be dangerous. Not just physically but also emotionally and economically. Each individual should be able to make the individual choice to reveal their spiritual practices to others.

Speaking as one whose spiritual path has been revealed by others a number of times, it can have an effect on professional effectiveness and even how the neighbors treat you and your kids. It pays to be smart.

I’ve learned about this spirit of anonymity from my life as a priestess, but the most compelling lessons are from my friends in 12 step programs such as A.A. and N.A. Anonymity is extremely important in these programs because each person’s journey with sobriety is individual and by daily/hourly choice. The immerse themselves in like minded community for solace, encouragement, and sometimes an anchor or lifeline. For those not in that community, we can’t know their journey at all. To have be revealed means exposure and judgment in some edgy, private, and tenuous situations.

It’s funny sometimes because I’ll realize that I am in the middle of these overlapping communities. Sometimes it’s not possible for my friends to explain how they know each other without revealing either AA affiliations or pagan affiliations. So we just forgo the question to honor the anonymity.

I have found that ask of keeping the question to myself to be profoundly transforming. For a curious person, that’s an act of power and honoring. For myself and the vows I’ve taken, and for the other person and where they are in their journeys. There are other times when questions must be asked to honor their journey. This is not one of them.

Post Navigation