Scented Candles/Incense for Those who Cannot Smell?

Incense smoke

Incense smoke (Photo credit: Lomacar)

So, I have a sort of issue. I have something called anosmia, which means that I don’t have a sense of smell. I can’t smell anything, anything at all. I’ve never been able to and almost certainly never will be able to.

This makes using scented candles/oils/incense really confusing. Because, really, the lavender candle in front of me could smell like burnt diapers and I wouldn’t even notice the difference.

I guess my biggest question is that, is it really important to have certain scents in a ritual? Like, are those scents there to put the person into the right frame of mind to perform whatever ritual or meditation they are aiming to do? Or, are these things vital in summoning/contacting/aligning with whatever spirit or energy that you are working with?

If it’s to get the person in the right frame of mind… well then having a special fragrant candle isn’t going to make me feel any different than a normal candle by scent alone so it would be kind of pointless. If it’s appealing to some outside force, then I could understand that they wouldn’t solely be for me, but as a tool.

I would love to hear some opinions on this, it’s probably a pretty personalized issue, but I definitely thing it’s a relevant topic. It would be great not to have to go out and buy specially scented candles (and also have to ask someone what each candle smells like if they aren’t labeled ). So yes, I would really love some input on this!

Native Language in Ritual?

spine detail

(Photo credit: Burns Library, Boston College)

I’ve recently decided I want to include more Irish in my practice since I feel it has a greater connection to the Irish pantheon I work with. My grasp of Irish isn’t particularly good (‘learned’ it in school, but my first language is English) so it will be a challenge.

Does anyone else use the language native to where ever the region your deities are from and do you feel it is important to the core of your practice or just something to add to or enhance it but not necessarily vitally important to it?

Also if you do, how much do you use, just a few terms or for the entirety of the ritual/practice, etc?

Hope to spark an interesting discussion.

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Stones as charms?

English: A metaphorical visualization of the w...

English: A metaphorical visualization of the word Anger. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was thinking about having a stone charm to absorb anger. You see, I get annoyed very easily and getting rid of the anger energy before it’s released in the form of yelling and would be a very good thing for me. How might I charm a stone to absorb anger?

I have polished river and stream rocks, can get unpolished river and stream rocks very easily, and the only stone I can recognize and name is white quartz.

Candle Magic

candle, candle in glass

Candle in glass (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve finally got a candle. It’s a nice brown apple-and-cinnamon scented one. I’ve been thinking of using it in candle magic. Sending energy, writing something in the wax and burning the candle, prayers, etcetera. I am also thinking of using it in place of incense in my Midsummer ritual because I don’t have any incense and can’t really get any.

I do have a problem though. According to everything I read, the candle must be left to burn out. However, I would like to reuse the candle, as I don’t get them very often, and it’s a 30-hour burn time and it’s highly impractical to keep it burning all that time. Is it permissible to reuse it?

Lots of Different Wiccas

Pentagram with a circle around it

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I feel kind of ashamed to admit it, but: I’m totally baffled by the differences between different types of Wiccans. I’ve been reading through Jennet’s list of definitions of Wicca, and I’m still a bit confused — partly about where the different types of Wiccans get their information/practices from, and also largely about eclectic Wicca.

1. So, obviously definition #1 on Jennet’s page is Trad Wicca. And #2 is also Trad Wicca but not BTW . . . right? And Wiccans in both 1 and 2 are learning from a group, including eventually oathbound materials.

But let’s say someone wants to practice definition #3. Would this then be a person who would study Outer Court materials coming from Trad Wiccans? Or where else would they get info from?

2. What counts as eclectic Wicca? Is it any form of Wicca that draws in non-Wiccan elements, or just things that make a specific point of blending in those elements — Norse Wicca, Tameran Wicca, etc?

As for religions like Norse Wicca: do they tend to be more Norse, or more Wiccan? Like, is it a basically Wiccan structure with Norse names added, or is it more like a Wiccanized form of Heathenry? (Or does it depend so much on the person that that’s impossible to answer?)

ADF or BDO: Unsure Which Would be Better Suited to Me?

200 px

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For a while now, I’ve been considering what type of Druid organization I’d like to join. I’ve narrowed it down to the British Druid Order (BDO) and Ár nDraíocht Féin (ADF). The OBOD didn’t appeal to me and neither did the AODA.

I’m very interested in Germanic paganism but Heathenry has never felt quite right to me for reason’s I cannot explain. I’m also interested in Kemeticism. I’d like a very earth based, animistic practice. I know that my Germanic tendencies would be welcomed among the ADF but my Kemetic practices would not. The BDO however seems very earth based but draws a lot from Celtic mythology and practices (Celtic deities have never appealed to me). Not to mention the cost of their courses varies considerably, the ADF is quite cheap whilst the BDO is very expensive. There are pros and cons to both.

I’m unsure of which direction to take. What would you recommend for somebody like me? I value any advice you could give me.

The Religious Cul-de-sac

Dead End

Dead End (Photo credit: windy_sydney)

So, I’ve been slowly backing myself into a religious corner by ignoring (I know, smart me!) the hints that I need to do some specific religious work. Over the weekend, I got “shoved” in the direction of Nut and basically told to do the work I’m meant to do with Her before I do anything else.

I’m now stuck in what I’m calling a religious cul-de-sac, knowing what I need to do, but wanting to do anything but…and I am, of course, unable to focus on anything except the Nut work. Clearly, I’m meant to

and the hell with everything else on my spiritual plate.

Is anyone else currently parked near me? If so, how are you coping?

For those that have successfully moved out of a cul-de-sac in the past, how did you do it?

How Do You Recognize the Presense of Deities?

detail of an image stone with Thor, Odin and Freyr

Stone with Thor, Odin and Freyr (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How do you recognize, or rather experience, the presence or attention of deities and their likes?

Now, I know this is a rather tricky question and that if I were to ask ten people, I’d get eleven different answers but I still found it worth asking. T’is something I’ve been trying to get my mind around. As it stands, I probably wouldn’t recognize anything even if it hit me. Repeatedly. In the face. With a chair.

Okay, well maybe I’d notice the chair… But you get the point, right?

Litha / Midsummer – How to do You Honor/Celebrate the Day?

English: Danes celebrating Midsummer by singin...

Danes celebrating Midsummer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Litha/Midsummer is coming up at the end of this week. Last year was my first year acknowledging and working within the wheel of the year, so once again, this is a new one for me.

What special (big or little) rituals or ceremonies do you do to acknowledge the day?