Pagan and New Age Books I’m Reading

So full disclosure, I think I’ve become a pagan. I’m still agnostic, I don’t believe firmly in any specific deity, although I do have a belief in a kind of universal energy that exists within all things. I guess you might call it a kind of animism which is typically a pagan belief system. I don’t ascribe to Wicca specifically because it has a few too many rules for my liking, so I am definitely an eclectic pagan. I do occasionally do little nature rituals, but I do what I feel speaks to me, not just following others’ ideas. I do enjoy reading about the various Gods and Goddesses because I believe they are important archetypes of various types of energy, but I don’t necessarily see them as beings actually existing in the physical realm.

So on to the video I’m sharing for today, this is just a brief overview of a few books about pagan and new age spirituality I have been reading recently:

Advertisements

Trying out new artistic styles – mixed media collage featuring naive, folk and pop art inspirations

So lately my artistic style has kind of taken some interesting turns. I tend to bore with styles quickly so I try out lots of new stuff, some that works, some that frankly doesn’t. Lately I’ve been playing around with mixed media collage techniques, using my love of cartoons, favorite characters and naive child-like art to create unique and sometimes amusing or slightly satirical works of art. Obviously this style is not for everyone, but I’ve had fun with it. I guess some other people like it too since I have sold quite a few of these little pieces. The materials I’ve used have varied greatly, including pastel, watercolor, colored pencil, marker, paper cut-outs, random stickers and decals, glitter, foam pieces and other odds and ends.  Here are a few examples that I’ve created recently (many have Halloween themes because it was that time of year!):

“Evil Sweetie” My Little Pony fan art collage on paper, 9″ x 12″

“Wake Up!” mixed media collage on paper, 9″ x 12″

“Two Black Bats” mixed media on paper, ACEO size (2.5″ x 3.5″)

“Werewolf Night” mixed media collage on paper, ACEO size (2.5″ x 3.5″)

“Ghost Minion” collage on paper, ACEO size (2.5″ x 3.5″)

Happy Halloween!!! Now get to writing!

First off, Happy Halloween to all of my fans, readers and fellow lovers of everything spooky! Halloween is probably my favorite holiday, and not just because my birthday falls close to it. I love creepy, dark and dreary stuff, so maybe that explains why my favorite authors are Edgar Allan Poe and Emily Dickinson.

Anyhow, Halloween is a great time to sit down and let your imagination run loose as well. If you love to write, feel free to take one of the following Halloween-themed writing prompts and make it your own! You can use these prompts to write a story, poem, journal entry, Tweet or anything else your little heart desires. Have fun!

*If you could be anyone or anything this Halloween, who or what would you be? Why?

*Use your senses. Brainstorm a list of all the Halloween sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and feelings you can think of.

*Pretend you are a symbol of Halloween. Describe Halloween from the point of view of a jack-o-lantern, bat, witch, spider, candy bar…or anything else you think of!

*Do you agree with schools banning the celebration of Halloween due to the religious or spiritual roots of the holiday? Why or why not?

*What is the best trick you have ever pulled on someone? Or the best trick pulled on you?

*Make your own witch’s brew. What would go into it? What would the concoction do?

*What really scares you? Write about it.

*How has Halloween changed since you were a kid? Do you miss the way things used to be?

*Should adults be allowed to trick or treat?

Do you believe in ghosts???

This weekend we have been at our church family camp.  We haven’t had a lot of extra time to do sightseeing, but in what little time we did have, we visited several historical, supposedly haunted places.  There was the Knox County Poorhouse which was really more like an insane asylum where the unwanted of society got dumped.  So many people died from the horrible conditions there, that they started secretly burying them in unmarked graves.  Some of these graves are still found today.  Later the poorhouse became a Bible College, where there was a horrible elevator accident that killed several people.  All of these lost souls are said to haunt the property.

Then we went to the Curtis Mansion, a house that is in horrible disrepair today, but must have been spectacular in its day.  It is supposed to be haunted by the ghost of a little girl.

Our last stop was at Kenyon College where supposedly there is a gateway to hell…in fact, even the church itself is said to stand on the hellmouth…quite a story huh?  Of course, the college has had a lot of deaths that make it a good haunting spot.  Nine students died in a fire, several students committed suicide, a few met mysterious deaths and a couple kids were involved in train or vehicle accidents on campus.

So did we see anything?  Not really.  We took some pics that we haven’t been able to post yet, so I will see if anything showed up on those.  I could tell there were some very strange light patterns in some of the pictures, but not sure what caused that.

I often get asked why I like to visit haunted spots.  Do I really believe in ghosts?  Well, I don’t know.  I have certainly experienced some odd things in my life that I couldn’t explain, but I don’t know why those things happened.  For instance, in my grandparents’ house, you could often hear footsteps overhead when no one was there.  There was also a bloodstain upstairs that would vanish when you washed it, but would soon show up again exactly as it was before.

In my childhood home, where an elderly lady died, things would often mysteriously move or things would fall from the wall and end up on the other side of the room…not really sure what was going on.  The oddest incidence was probably when my grandmother died though.  After her death, an anniversary lamp that her and my grandpa had gotten on their wedding day constantly flickered on and off.  Even unplugged it would continue to flicker.  However, the day she was buried, the strange activity ended and never happened again.  Coincidence?  I don’t know…but certainly weird.

I know that many fellow Christians think ghosts are unreal or are caused by demons.  I’m not sure about that.  My grandma was a strong Christian…one of the greatest I’ve known.  I have also known faithful Christians who saw loved ones after they died, and those “ghosts” told their living loved ones that heaven is glorious and to keep living for God.  Why would a demon encourage others to live for God?  Plus, many ghost stories are positive tales of ghosts who have saved the lives of loved ones or helped those in times of need…would demons do that?  And if they are angels, why not just appear as angels instead of ghosts?

I don’t have the answers and won’t pretend that I do.  But I know there is much more out there than we can see…who knows how it all happens or what it is…but I must admit it does fascinate me.