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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in mental health

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Healing from my own heart

Originally I wanted to write about the sacred mirror in Shinto for my next article. However, informational articles take some time as I have to research and make sure that all is accurate, containing the correct history and origins.

But, I felt to do a piece about some recent thoughts, an experience, and a recent dream before then. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Aryós Héngwis
    Aryós Héngwis says #
    I want to start by saying I also really appreciate your continued posts here on PaganSquare and am very glad for the extra perspec
  • Olivia
    Olivia says #
    Thank you so much Aryós!! I deeply appreciate your kind words and support always, and I am very humbled.;; Thank you, thank you !
  • The Cunning Wife
    The Cunning Wife says #
    Great post! I struggle with my own limitations and my desire to do more, and be more, than I am at any given point, too. At those
  • Olivia
    Olivia says #
    Thank you very much! Yes, I agree ;; It is so easy to get caught up in expectations of ourselves. Thank you so much for your gentl
Ruminations on the Soul: Mental Illness and Suicide

**This post is rooted in recent current events, and has foundations in my experience as a mental health chaplain. The content may be upsetting or triggering to some**

"Regrets collect like old friends
Here to relive your darkest moments
I can see no way, I can see no way
And all of the ghouls come out to play

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Mark Green
    Mark Green says #
    Thank you for this post.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Approaching Our Fears

Cross-posted on Goddessing From the Heart.

For today’s #InnerWork post, I will be uncovering some of the psychology behind “facing your fears” and discussing how we can incorporate Goddess Spirituality into this experience. The topic is timely for me as I will be getting MRI testing in the next few weeks and am concerned about how it will go for me. I saw the machine in person and have been feeling anxious imagining myself undergoing the process.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_web3_sm.jpgI’ve spent the last 13 years living in some level of crisis. Not the “my life is in danger” kind of crisis, but more of an ongoing state of being triggered and having to attempt to reframe. I have many spiritual tools I’ve used to survive this. I have a black cup into which I channel dark thoughts. I have a strong connection with deity when I feel in despair, a connection fostered with meditation and time in nature, and with animals. I have made strands of prayer beads, and when my brain was spinning when I was trying to get some sleep, working my way along that strand was a life line. And I’ve spend time tending my ancestor’s graves.

But the source of my distress has now moved out of my house – how I made that happen is a story for another day – and I can catch a breath. Literally. The day she moved out was very long. I was up and out at 7:30 and got home 12 hours later. The house was empty and I had the sensation of bracing myself for a blow that didn’t come when I came home. I took a breath. Then I took another. She has always taken up a lot of psychic space. She would spread herself out and occupy space, always choosing the best spot for any activity, most often the spot her father liked. Then she resisted being moved. As I write this, I could compile a list of petty offenses, and if that were the only issue, then it would have been a more simple matter. No doubt she would have done what adults do and gotten a job and moved herself out. She has a degree in engineering after all. But she also has serious mental health issues. She has a diagnosis of schizophrenia, autism - which would have been really helpful to know when she was growing up, and most recently OCD has been added to the list. But beyond all that, she was just not a nice person.

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Pagan News Beagle: Fiery Tuesday, October 10 2017

Trans people in Mexico turn to a local folk saint for patronage. Experts debunk the idea that stress doesn't affect people of color. And Costa Rica's Savegre River obtains protection from UNESCO. It's Fiery Tuesday, our segment about societal and political news from around the globe! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Keeping It Together

It’s been a rough summer; honestly, it’s been a rough year.  Like many people, I suffer from depression.  My emotional and energetic state often reflects that of the people and world around me.  In the best of times it can be difficult for me think positively and move forward creatively.  In times like these it’s pretty much all I can do just to keep up the illusion of being a fully functional adult.  Thankfully, as a magickal person I have a whole host of spirits and allies to help me keep it together.

My personal practice is a unique amalgam of traditional and pop culture practices and when it comes to dealing with my depression it's pretty much all hands on deck.  I know there are a lot of people out there with strong reservations about mixing practices.  While I can understand seeing mixed practices and pantheons as potentially problematic, I believe it’s all a matter of execution.  In my view  a sincere practice done respectfully and with the full consent of all participating parties is pretty much always acceptable.  It’s not uncommon for me to call on Santa Muerte, Baron Samedi, and Tony Stark in the course of an evening.  Yes, I will call on a Mexican folk saint, a Loa, and an Avenger at the same time, but I do not do so lightly.  I have strong, long-standing working relationships with these metaphysical beings; we know each other very well.  I’ve worked with all of them on their own and have discussed and gotten permission from them to call on them in inter-pantheon situations.  The relationships that I have with my allies forge a connection between them, as they all care about me, and make mixing pantheons and practices a lot less incongruous than it would be otherwise.  It’s like asking your sibling, best friend, and favorite co-worker to help you move; they may not really know each other but because of their close relationship with you they can probably get along well enough to help you out.  I wouldn’t want to call on spirits I hadn’t worked with before in a mixed practice setting.  This is more like putting up a craigslist ad for help moving and expecting everyone that happens to show up to get along.  Not a great idea.  When needs are sincere and explicit permission from the beings involved has been acquired, then call on whatever and whomever will best aid the situation.

Depression is a gnarly and ever-changing beast that manifests differently for everyone.  For me, depression can morph its form at any time, requiring different energies moment to moment just to make it through the day.  The different entities that I work with on a regular basis all have different qualities that can help me in different ways.  This is why I will shamelessly mix practices and pantheons as needed.  Tony Stark is my go to ally when I’m depressed because his depression and emotional difficulties manifest similarly to mine.  He’s a character that tends to take the world on his shoulders and get beaten down by the big picture while putting up the facade of thriving.  That’s pretty much what my depression looks like.  I often call on him to help me feel less isolated and to feel understood.  I also have a big plushie Iron Man that functions as part talisman, part comfort object - a little juvenile sure, but it helps.  I’ll also almost always call on Santa Muerte when I’m not feeling my best.  You may not know this, but Santa Muerte gives awesome hugs.  No matter what’s going on she’s always there for me with real acceptance and without any kind of judgment.  She’s my go to particularly when I need to forgive myself.  When I need permission to take care of myself rather than helping everyone around me I call on Baron Samedi.  Strangely, or not, death deities and spirits are spectacular at reminding you what it means to be alive and the value thereof.  The Baron is amazing at helping me to see the beauty and joy around me and to actually take the time to engage with it; to live life rather than merely getting by. 

The aid received from my various allies can manifest in many different ways.  Simple conversation is the most common form of aid I request while dealing with negative emotions.  Just because you’re calling on a magickal being for aid doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to get them to do magickal work.  Metaphysical beings have entirely different wells of wisdom and past experiences to draw from in giving advice as well as offering comfort or support.  Witnessing of sorrows and an energetic hug can be as powerful a catalyst for emotional healing as any spell or working.  That being said, I often call on my allies to help hold my shields when I’m emotionally compromised.  Depression is hell on your aura and can make you a lot more vulnerable to external negative energies as well as sapping the energies you’d normally have to respond to trouble.  I’ve called on Buffy Summers a time or two to watch my back when I didn’t have the energy to do it myself.  The other main magick I’ll ask for help with while depressed is divination.  Depression is a dirty, rotten liar.  Depression clouds judgment like nothing else I’ve ever experienced, making clear divination a must when having to make critical decisions under its influence.  I’ve called on everyone from Cerridwen to Yoda to guide important divinations to help mitigate the incredible pessimism and negativity that depression brings.  Everyone has different needs while dealing with negative emotions, but we must remember that our metaphysical allies care about us and are willing to help.

When times are tough the wise practitioner calls for help.  We spend years cultivating relationships with a diverse host of deities, spirits, and other metaphysical beings so that we can call on them when we need them.  We must remember that our own mental and emotional health is as valid a reason to call for help as any other.  Our allies care about us, want us to thrive, and are willing to help us to do so - particularly when we are unable to help ourselves.  Regardless of what entities you have relationships with, take the time to discuss how they would be willing to help you.  If you’re prone to depression consider cultivating a few relationships just for aid with it.  Then, when the time comes actually utilize those relationships and ask for help.  A practitioner is never truly alone, there is always something listening.  Ask for help from beloved allies and you will keep it together.

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At the Crossroad of Spiritual and Mental Health

In my early 20s, I experienced a spontaneous awakening that fully opened up my world to the life of a mystic. Years later nothing quite cements the phrase “spiritual emergence” than the exact moment when the energetic point at my heart broke open.

There were a few problems with the journey I was about to begin. One, I didn't have a community, and the network of support I did have hadn't experienced anything like I was describing. I didn't have any local teachers. The greatest hurdle, though, was the fact that I'm bipolar with the diagnosis now of Bipolar Type II.

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