We hear the word "balance" every time we turn around, it seems. Elemental balance is usually what is stressed, sometimes gender balance comes in second. What about everything else?
How do you find balance in your spiritual and mundane lives?
How important is it to find and maintain balance? Let's take nature as an example: we have an equilibrium in our bodies that must be maintained, and certain scales must be kept in balance to sustain life on this planet, but what else is balanced? Day and night? Nope. There's two days a year those are equal, and that's it. A lot of the imbalance can probably be blamed on humans, but what are your takes on that as well?
Another point to consider is ourselves. By now, many of us know that we must keep ourselves balanced in terms of the elements, genders, work and play, light and dark, etc., but what about positive and negative energy? In New Age circles there's a tendency to want to rid ourselves of all negativity. Is this wise?
This is a post full of questions, but I'm mainly just trying to start a dialogue about balance, why need it, where we need it, and what it means to us since it's so central to the practice of DRW.
Great question Aislynn!
I think that balance isn't something concrete like the concept of 50/50, but rather a state of constant flux that someone is trying to achieve within their magical and mundane lives. When I think of balance as far as between magical and mundane, I think its pretty obvious that mundane wins out time wise, but magical to me gets more of the balance deal with significance wise. While the magical isn't constant (and by magical I mean spell working, herbalism, color magic, etc.) I think its important that the significance it does have out weigh the mundane. If the mundane becomes too significant and the magical loses its meaning to us, then I believe that balance is skewed and needs to be corrected.
I also agree that with DRW balance is vital; we see gender equality within circle and outside of it as integral because "you can't have one without the other". I too find it odd that New Age circles want to remove the negative, especially since negativity does us some favors when it comes to learning life's lessons. Sure, no one wants to learn a lesson during a negative moment, like say you get fired and you eventually realize that job sucked anyhow, but without the negative start to the lesson being learned, you may have never learned it and therefore may have caused more damage to your balance than learning from it.
Without balance, you're a wanderer. You try to find the elements that can make you complete, to get you to that point of balance, but you never quite get all that you need because something isn't right about you, the missing piece while you are looking for it never completes you and the cycle continues over and over again.
I think that balance isn't something concrete like the concept of 50/50, but rather a state of constant flux that someone is trying to achieve within their magical and mundane lives.
I like the way in which you put it, as a constant flux, because that is the way of the world and the universe.
I think that you make a good point- only 2 days a year are "equal" in night and day- But the overall "total" of night and day in a year are equal over time. Balance is more than just remaining stadnant at the center of to polar opposites... It is being able to explore each polarity deeper, learn from what IT has to teach you... come to center- and then find balance by exploring the other.
As far as negativity goes- I think that it is impossible to neglect it. Eventually we all face times of "darkness" and part of learning from them- is truly experiencing it. We also all have "positive times" and we cannot forget that when things are great- part of coming back to center is not forgetting about or neglecting the "darkness". Trying to live in the "center" 100% of the time is not only nearly impossible- but it inhibits your own growth and exploration! Instead we NEED to spend time on every end of the spectrum- to some degree. You cannot live in the positive all of the time (or you'll end up having your "bubble burst" when life happens) BUT you can't life in the negative all the time either (woe is me, life is pain, we are all doomed). You can't change the balance you can't have birth without death, or day without night no matter how hard you try. BUT what you can choose is what to focus on! I choose to focus on the positive. I don't pretend the negative doesn't exist and sometimes thrive, But I keep in mind that while few people win the lottery or have long perfectly happy lives- few people are brutally murdered as well. I hope that by trying to focus on the positive I am helping to bring "balance" to a world that (too me) seems hyper focused on tragedy and evil, and feels that happiness is to sacchrine to prioritize.
Everything is inconnected and it all balanced in the LONG run. Some people will be "heros" others will be "villians". Balance is not just internal- we are a part of a society and a world and a person can seem "unbalanced" within themselves- but in the larger scheme they may be the odd shaped piece that makes the puzzle fit. We need to follow the path that brings us happiness, wholeness and wisdom. Usually that looks pretty "balanced" one way or another- but it is ever changing, dynamic, and unique!
For me at least, Balance is a goal... not something that i can always achieve but i do my best to be balanced in as many was as possible.
As for the "new age" movement removing all negative? that seems kind of silly to me. Negativity is a sign that shouldnt be ignored and can be used in a positive was as a call to action... It lets you know that you need to work on a few things. As for just letting all negativity go away with the wind? lol, that doesnt really work too well. Most times ive found that if i ignore it it tends to bottle up and must make me worse.
Negativity is a part of life that can either help or destroy you IMO. Dealing with it and taking action where i can is the only way i found to remove it from my life, lol, then another little piece comes along:)
personaly speaking in my younger days i did take the rout of avoidence of the neg to expell it from my beingness....well for me that became a long bumpy road...lol
As i had aged and fought and thought it was possible i also tipped into physics now for me physiscs helped me understand energyw work or spell work to a whole new levl
I came to see after years of this walk away from the neg i seen through study magic science and my own experiances...herbal med as well you cant make a whole without both we are not whole without both lol reality would crumble without both,
and so i conclude to denie one can tend to cause lack of balance and knowledge,experiance for to know yourself or to create it takes balance between the two and then wow the walk grows into a new understanding of practices,spiritual and creation ability for to know to experiance expands you...well it did me and im still going along learning and growing and its been a great experiance to see learn and understand both the neg and a positive and there purposes and both energies do have stronge purpose..........knowledge is power,experiance is wisdom
WOW!! in my short time here I have learned more than the months I spent on another site.
Though I am new, I would like to add I totally agree that Negitive cant not be cast aside like something that can be lived without. the 50/50 analogy drawn earlier I like also. Energy is a fluid thing. It can flow more positive at time or more negitive at others. By its nature it seeks it's own balance. We "travel" through this exsistence, interacting with this energy. How we react to the eddy of energy that surounds us at the time defines us. And yes this teaches us, if we are aware of it, how to live according to our own beliefs. It is like that addage "that which does not kill me makes me stronger". going through the negitive can better teach us how to be in tune with the forces around us and can set us on the way to put ourselves a more positive time.
I also take great advice in the comment about balance in the mundane and the magickal. Ever since Yule, I have allowed mundane pressures to draw me away from the magickal side of my life. This unbalanced me. Sitting down with my life coach and getting in touch with facts from a fresh perspective let me know the negitivity I was feeling was self enduced and not karma revenge for past wrongs. I learned a good lesson. Strive for balance, and gain strenght in the journey.
Wonderful Discusion. I am so looking forward to more!
Bright Blessing to All
I struggle with balance, it must be said.
I enjoy the macabre side of life, and see beauty in the tragic, I always have, strange person that I am,
my favourite colour, from as young as 3 or 4 years old, being jet black, (all the crayons, pens and pencils in my pencil case once-upon-a-time were black much to my teachers & parents dismay, and I hardly ever wear any other colour - even my altar working tools tend to be black to this day!!!) my favourite time being deep into the dark night, I adore it when the clocks go back and hate it when they go forward, I shun the Sun, I mostly shun company, really, I absolutely love to be alone, especially in a grave yard, or in an ancient forest, or up a mountain, or in a cave by the sea and so on, I don't even like living in a house much, keeping all the doors and windows open whenever possible... and would much prefer to be in a barge on the river or a caravan on the open road... restless, I am, see, and I find it hard to cope with too much "love and light" from some folks, too. Do-gooders just make me itch. Hugs leave me cold. I really hate having my personal space invaded, and I will not have a mobile phone for love nor money.
I curse and hex for those who warrant it, fully aware of payback risks. (Some might call it Law of 3... and Karma etc, and yep, I've had plenty) my people that I come from preach "an eye for an eye," honour must be upheld at all costs, those who do wrong must pay, and I will not be different for anyone.
I also sometimes feel more masculine than feminine in myself, I'm quite a warrior spirit, I think, quite rough and ready, happy to get my hands dirty, happy to do things like mechanics, welding, and brick laying, traditionally more mens work (dare I be so sexist) don't know if that because of past life stuff maybe, or that I had to grow up fast due to tough family circumstances possibly, I dunno, but I've always responded better to males in my life other than females...I feel very Blessed my kids were both born lads...I just sense another female under my roof wouldn't have worked...My relationship with my Mother was strained to say the least. I don't get on with my Aunts or (girl) Cousins at all.
Without negativity, how would we truly know positivity?
And just because somebody claims we all need balance all of the time, who says that's right?
Just a few rambling thoughts on the subject, sorry to be so random and negative! xx
Quote "I was reading a book called Traditional Witchcraft: A Cornish Book of Ways and it stated that the Three Fold Law and Harm None wasn't part of a Traditional Crafters world. Now days, they can have morals but not way back when."
I surpose it makes sense for witchcraft to change over the centuries. It's like with Christianity. The number of times the Bible has been changed over the past two-thousand years.
Ah, inter-tradition bias and bullpucky. Gotta love when someone decides to grind their axe against another path because they're in a bit of a snit about some other tradition. It's the same thing that happens today with some authors bashing Christians.
Suffice it to say, Cunning Folk are still alive today, and the idea of Cunning Folk and Wiccans being at odds with each other is utter nonsense. Just ask some of the Wiccans on this site who also are Cunning Folk--check the Hoodoo group for more info. But fakelore sells much better than facts when it comes to occult works, so I'm not surprised about this book being out there (and at least some of the other material in the book, although not quite as advertised, is decent). ;)
Disagree, disagree again, and disagree wholeheartedly. But as that completely sidetracks the thread, I'll leave it up to you if you want to discuss a new thread on the main board of the site to go into further about why you believe this, and I'll gladly respond with why I disagree.
...but you have to admit that it was right about one part. The three fold law, karma, all that wasn't around way back in the 1500's and Cunning Folk today still live on the fringes of society.
One witch said that if you don't want to live on the fringes of society then don't become a witch. I think, not matter how much mainstream witchcraft tries to be, it will always be a fringe practice. Just my 2 cents.
Theh Cunning Folk, that is very disgusting.