DISCLAIMER: As always, everything presented here is for entertainment and semi-educational purposes only. Please do not mistake this for mental health therapy or advice. If you need mental health counseling or treatment, please contact your insurance company, local college’s student counseling clinic, county crisis line, or the Psychology Today Portal.
If you want a running list of COVID-19 resources and news, check out my list here. Also, check out this running list of disaster hotlines by state. **I have quite a few articles for the news and resources page, but way too much is else calling my attention right now.
Welcome to Month #2 of using a gratitude spell in lieu of a weekly reading. I put the whole Rube Goldberg machine that is my thought process as to why I believe a monthly gratitude spell is a good idea in the post I did a couple weeks ago, but I understand that my thought process can be a fucking saga. We’re talking a full-on Narnia or Star Wars-level saga, but with way more curse words and way less depth. If the thought of digging through my brain gives you a migraine, here are the major points:
- We the Collective (™) are in a major rebuilding phase after the gigantic slow-motion hit-and-run that was 2020.
- I haven’t seen much to indicate that all the division of the last six years is going away any time soon. We have leftist conspiracy theorists encouraging you to spy on your neighbors. (You can check out one of those videos here.) Meanwhile, QAnon is finding a weird level of support in Japan. Oh, and scientists finding themselves needing to explain the concept of snow to some Texans on the Far Right. Then we have certain Texas senators fucking off to Cancun whilst their state is in the middle of a crisis. Attention, good citizens of Texas: Nature and your own damn senators—NOT Bill Gates—have messed with you. Yeah… The Great American Political Limbo Game (™) gets lower and lower.
- I’m not a guru or an expert on anything, but it seems as though critical thinking has been edged out in favor of emotional reasoning, which is a major thinking error. Not balancing your emotions with logic leaves you open to all sorts of mental health issues.
- These are uncertain times. When people sense uncertainty, they get anxious. And when people get anxious, they tend to cling to what they find familiar. The problem is, most people are more familiar with self-soothing addict-like behaviors and confirmation bias than they are familiar with knowing how to be uncomfortable.
- I happen to think practicing aspects of stoicism can help We the Collective (™) put one foot in front of another. Maybe we can go in a more positive—or possibly just a less destructive—direction.
So What is Stoicism and Why Should You Care?
It all started with Zeno building on the teachings of the ancient Cynics—Greek philosophers, not your idiot sibling who can’t be bothered to say anything positive— in 301 BC. Stoicism as we know it—also called Late Stoa—was popularized by Seneca and Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius until Christianity overshadowed it around 4th Century A.D. Although I can see why pop culture equates the word stoic with a Cool Hand Luke, unemotional approach to the world, the basic premise of stoicism is releasing emotional, financial, and ideological attachments. They considered virtue the perfection of reason, or maintaining a rational mindset that does not assume superiority. Stoics divided virtue into four main categories:
- Wisdom (being able to objectively discern what you’re seeing and what you can and cannot control about it)
- Justice (the concept of doing no harm and acting in the common good, not just looking out for your selfish interests)
- Courage (willingness to get out of your comfort zone to gain something greater)
- Moderation (exercising self-control, walking the middle ground between scarcity and being self-indulgent)
Essentially, stoicism is all about keeping to a basic blueprint so that you don’t fall prey to the shit—control fallacies, the constant need to escape our feelings, greed, entitlement, and hysteria—that’s currently making We the Collective (™) miserable. Here are a couple stoic beliefs that are relevant to what we’re doing:
- Memento Mori, or understanding that you ain’t special enough to cheat death.
- Understanding that the obstacle will show you the way forward..
- Taking stock of what you can control vs. what you cannot.
And there’s your segue. The reason I chose to do a stoic gratitude practice in the form of a spell is that I think spellwork is a great tool to focus your mind and energy, as well as help you connect with your guides. This will help open your mind to useful solutions, rather than keep you in a state of ask, believe, receive fuckery or victimhood. Oh, I also practice witchcraft.
Check out the stoicism basics here:
Aaaannnnyyyyhoo, let’s get on with the spell.
First, The Usual Ground Rules…
Again, these are from my original post on gratitude because the rules still apply. And here they are:
- First, don’t post this online. There’s no such thing as a #spiceviciousgratitudechallenge. That’s played-out, obnoxious, and you look like a smug virtue signaller. A monthly gratitude list is about you, not others’ opinions of you.
- Second, if you find yourself super grateful for a person, tell them in private. Nothing showy. No posting to their wall or doing it for The ‘Gram. A simple hug, text, or returning the favor will do.
- Third, paying it forward is totally encouraged, but do it as anonymously as possible. If you’re grateful for your mental health, consider a small donation to NAMI. If you’re grateful for your pets, maybe buy a shirt from Arm the Animals, make a donation to an organization like the Humane Society. For those of you grateful for the time you spent with a recently deceased loved one, consider donating to an organization that seeks to find a cure for what they died of or buying something from the Order of the Good Death store.
- Fourth, try paying at least three compliments a day without context or provocation. Just a simple, random kind word in three situations. Or show those you love affection at least once a day. It’s good for your nervous system.
- Lastly, practice a short mindfulness meditation before you write the list. I like this one:
In Case You Forgot How to Use This as a Way to Shake Off Old Patterns…
Here are my suggestions:
- Do this spell from the end of the month until the new moon. If you’re looking to change your patterns, I’d suggest combining this spell with this Fortuna new moon spell every month.
- After you complete your monthly journal activity, fold it and put it on a window sill that gets plenty of sun and moonlight. Place a few crystals on the paper and let it charge for the entire time you do your spell.
- If this is part of a long-term ritual to get rid of old emotional baggage or karma, burn your journal activity after the new moon and plant it near a tree.
- ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS FINISH YOUR NEW MOON SPELL BY DEEP CLEANING AT LEAST ONE ROOM OR CLUTTERED AREA OF YOUR HOUSE. Cleaning after a new moon spell shows your guides that you are serious about clearing out old karma, lessons, patterns, and behaviors. Check out this post on mindful cleaning for inspiration. Or do a little Swedish death cleaning.
Gratitude Spell for February 2021
What You Need:
- A lavender candle and incense. It sets the mood and gives your more primitive brain something to focus on.
- A notebook, journal, or paper. I mean, you could paint tiny pictures, do an interpretive dance, knit a sweater, make a sculpture, etc. to answer these questions, but paper’s good too.
- Some water or tea to drink. It reinforces the whole flushing the system thing.
- A pen, crayons, pencils, or whatever it is you write with. This is not a telepathic challenge.
- A conducive environment. This turkey won’t fly if you’re trying to do this in the middle of a knife fight.
- Crystals of your choice. These are to charge your paper during the hours when you are not doing the spell.
What You Will Do:
- Start with a quick meditation to clear your mind. You can use any one you like, but I have been using this one lately.
- Set out the offer stone, incense, candle, and your journaling supplies.
- Give thanks to your guides and your Higher self. Tell them about your offering. A simple gratitude invocation is: “Blessed Guides, please accept this humble offering. I give thanks to you for filling my life, my space, and my aura with your divine light.”
- Light your candle and incense. Visualize your stone and objects absorbing your intentions and filling with your Higher Self and your guides’ inspiration and guidance.
- Answer at least three of the journal questions at each sitting. After you answer your journal questions, visualize a white and silver bubble around your paper. Feel your guides and Higher Self energizing this paper.
- Set your intention to clear patterns that are no longer serving you, such as:
- Giving too much in relationships
- Bad boundaries
- Spending more than you can afford
- Holding onto friendships, relationships, online connections, etc that leave you feeling sad or drained
- Caring too much about what others think
- Visualize yourself deep cleaning these patterns and your answers to this month’s journal questions out of your life. You can use scrubbing, sweeping, power washing, or any image that connects you to the feeling of taking action to improve your mental and emotional house.
- Allow yourself some time to make note of any thoughts, feelings, images, or sensations that come to mind.
- Thank your Higher Self and your guides. Close out the ritual in any way you see fit.
Journal Questions #2: Bad Relationships
EDIT: Sometimes a bad relationship involves mental, physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, or sexual abuse. Sometimes a bad relationship means another person’s wounds inadvertently did some real damage to you. If this is what you experienced in these relationships, please know that I’m sorry and that the other person’s behavior IS NOT YOUR FAULT. I repeat, YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANOTHER PERSON DECIDING TO REACT WITH RAGE, MANIPULATION, FORCE, OR OTHER NEGATIVE BEHAVIORS. The main message here is that all parties are responsible for their choices and behaviors. Abuse is NEVER okay. If you find that you were either the abuser or on the receiving end of abuse, please talk with a qualified mental health professional so that you can heal.
- Make a list of the most toxic, frustrating, depressing, draining, or pointless relationships you have ever had. They can be romantic relationships, work relationships, friendships, or family relationships. Just use the first five examples that come to mind.
- For each relationship, describe where you were in your life at the time. How would you describe yourself when you were with that person? What did you think you wanted from a relationship at that time?
- For each relationship, describe the other person in at least three words. What do each of these people have in common with each other? What do each of these people have in common with you?
- For each relationship, describe what made the relationship toxic, boring, draining, negative, challenging, etc. in at least three words. What do each of these relationships have in common with each other? What do each of these relationships have in common with the way you see yourself?
- For each relationship, describe something positive you got from this relationship in at least three words. What positive aspects do these relationships have in common? How are they different?
- For each relationship, describe something positive that you did during that relationship in at least three words. How did these positive actions affect your relationship? Are you willing to do these positive things in other relationships? Why or why not?
- For each relationship, describe something negative that you did during that relationship in at least three words. How did these negative actions affect your relationship? When did you realize that your actions were negative?
- Based on your answers to these questions, how did each relationship change you in negative ways? What is at least one thing you learned from these negative changes? Do you benefit from any of these negative changes? If so, how?
- Based on your answers to these questions, how did each relationship change you in positive ways? What about these changes benefits you the most?
- Based on your answers to these questions, how did each relationship shape your life? Is this more positive or negative?
- Based on your answers to these questions, what did each relationship teach you about yourself? How do you use these lessons today? How can you use this information to help yourself this week?
- Based on your answers to these questions, what did each relationship teach you about how to have a healthy relationship? How do you use these lessons today? How can you use this information to help yourself this week?
- Based on your answers to these questions, what did each relationship teach you about how you behave towards others? How can you use this information to help yourself this week?
- Based on your answers to these questions, what relationship patterns do you want to change? What makes these patterns negative, challenging, or self-sabotaging for you? How can you use this information to help yourself this week?
- Based on your answers to these questions, which of your relationship patterns do you want to continue? What makes these patterns useful or positive for you? How can you use this information to help yourself this week?
- What parts of these negative relationships are easiest for you to accept, own, or let go? Why is that?
- What parts of these negative relationships are hardest for you to accept, own, or let go? Why?
- Based on your answers to these questions, what parts of these difficult relationships are you most grateful for? How can this gratitude and your answers to these questions help you let go of, accept, or own the most difficult parts of these relationships? Are you willing to do this?
PLEASE READ: I am not doing private readings for the foreseeable future. I have way too much going on to create content and be an effective reader. Please understand, this isn’t personal. I just need to clean my own mental and emotional house for now. If you want a badass reading, I suggest you hit up my friend Marshall Delaware. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org Also, I highly recommend you check out my Keen pal Silverbreeze. You can find her right here.
If you’re looking for an inspirational poem on finding your place in the world amongst a million ghosts, check out Joan Carol Bird’s latest. Hey, sharing is caring.
Those wildfires on the West Coast displaced thousands of innocent pets. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) wants to help. If you would like to help the pets affected by the wildfires, please click here. Also, the American Humane Society is looking for donations for these pets. You can donate here.
For those of you who can’t resist a little subtle virtue signalling, why not give to those sweet little animals in Australia? Funko Pop is releasing a limited edition figure to support the animals hurt in the Australian wildfires. Arm the Animals is also selling shirts to benefit the animals hurt in the fires. You can get those here.
If beanies or water bottles are more your style, check out the Piper Lou collection. Proceeds from select items benefit the Australian Red Cross. You can see for yourself right here. Or you can take the more direct route through GreaterGood.com
P.S. I managed to publish the first part of my first novel in 2019!! I’m excited and want to share it with you. Check out Water Torture Part One: Have You Checked the Children? Here. Please read and review it. Thank you!!
Did you like my buddy Marshall Delaware, aka G. G. MacLeod? Check out our latest political collab. He’s coming back in the near future, FYI. If you want to read an awesome historical fiction novel, you can get your hands on his book here. It may take place in Ancient Rome, but Augusta couldn’t be any more timely if it tried. He actually dropped Part Two a while ago and most recently gifted the world with Part Three. Part Four is right here. And, ehrmagerd, he has just come out with Part Five. I think you should go get it, Tiger!