October 2018 House of Rituals Pagan Subscription Box

I received my October Mini House of Rituals subscription box a few weeks ago and have already used the stuff from it, but I wanted to show you all what I got anyhow. Here is what came in the box:

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The theme this month was Samhain & Diving with Spirits. The package included a 3-card spread tarot reading cloth, 3 tarot cards chosen individually for each subscriber (I got The Lovers, The High Priestess, and the 3 of Wands cards), a tarot card reading guide, a book about various kinds of spirits and how to work with them, 2 silver candles, full moon incense, an old-fashioned pocketwatch, an antique photo, a sun/moon decorative tile, a chunk of rose quartz, and instructions.

When I do rituals I tend to kind of disregard the instructions and just do what feels right, so I used the materials to do a small altar spread honoring the spirit of Samhain and The Day of the Dead. I did keep the theme of past, present, and future and did feel that the 3 cards they sent me fit well! Here is an image of my finished altar spread:

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My personal interpretation of the 3 cards is as follows:

Past – The Lovers: Duality in my past spills over into my present.

Present – The High Priestess: A need for my subconscious to heal from the pain of the past so I can move on.

Future – 3 of Wands: Harmonious prosperity (hopefully a good result to my upcoming SSDI hearing?)

I mostly consider the Tarot a system that is fun and helps you get in touch with your own inner thoughts, feelings, desires, and needs through meditation, so I don’t necessarily try to use it to “predict the future”, but if it wants to tell me the future looks good, I will accept that!

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What I Believe, Do Not Believe, and Am Unsure About

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Like many others with Aspergers and OCD traits, I enjoy making lists and organizing my thoughts in a linear fashion on paper. While flipping through an old notebook, I found the following lists of “What I Believe”, “What I Do Not Believe”, and “What I Am Unsure Of”, and thought I would share it just for fun. Since I am not religious anymore, I made this list to try to figure out and pinpoint what I personally believe or no longer believe.

What I Believe

  • There is probably some kind of all-encompassing spirit or energy in the universe. Whether that energy is conscious and/or aware can be argued.
  • There is an inter-connectedness of all things.
  • I believe in the power and goodness of love, kindness, and forgiveness.
  • I believe in the power and strength of nature.

What I Do Not Believe

  • Any form of religious dogma. It is ALL man-made.
  • I do not believe that any human or religion has all the answers, no matter how much they think they do.
  • I do not believe in eternal punishment or “hell”.
  • I do not believe that everyone needs to or should follow the same path.

What I Am Unsure Of

  • Are there any Gods or Goddesses in any form?
  • Is there an afterlife? Are ghosts, hauntings, or reincarnation real?
  • Are there other “realms”? For example, do fairies, aliens, alternate realities, mythical monsters, etc. exist in this current reality or any other?
  • Is there such a thing as a personal soul? If so, do only humans have them, or all living beings? Can a non-organic being (like Artificial Intelligence) have or develop a “soul”?

New Art Trading Card Paintings

This first new gouache painting I think looks kind of like souls trying to escape or something:

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This next painting was inspired by the “pizza painting” technique from the book “Drawing Calm” by Susan Evenson:

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Another painting inspired by “Drawing Calm”, an abstract version of their “Little Houses” prompt:

Art by Maranda Russell

And lastly, this painting was inspired by the sea and a collage I saw of paper strips representing the ocean:

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All of these mini paintings are currently up for auction at my Ebay store!

 

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.