Subtitle

A personal look at the trails and triumphs of creating a business from the ground up; of starting a business selling what you create.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

How I Got Started: Paganism and Witchcraft

This is part IV, the last of the How I Got Started series. Each part can be read on their own but if you want to read part Ipart II, or part III click the links.

An old altar set up of mine.
That Paganism would draw me into a field of work I never even thought of is kind of an amazing thing to look back on. And it hasn't even been that long.When I graduated from undergrad I had a stable job and decided that my next step would be to start exploring various Pagan religions to see if that way lay a place where my spirituality was comfortable. It was. In the process of learning I was drawn to nature-based religions. They teach that all around us in energy is various forms and that we can connect with those energies to enhance our own. Those that follow nature-based religions often venerate or worship nature in its various forms; the how and why differing from religion to religion. Because of that I some of the classes or lessons I took were about topics like herbalism and natural healing. I learned about common herbs, spices, oils, roots and resins and the various ways to use them.

I was taught that these and other elements of the earth each have their own natural energies as well as a history of associations that humans have created over the years. These things could be used individually, like essential oils in a diffuser, or combined, in an oil blend, to enhance my own or others personal energies and workings so that we can affect change. I also learned how lots of plants are the basis for our modern medicine and have healing and therapeutic properties. I became particularly interested in those that helped with allergies and those that could be used topically, or on the skin, our body's biggest organ. I will add this, as much as I learned then, I am still learning now and as a friend likes to say, I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV.

Not too long after these lessons started the natural hair movement for black women in the United States started gaining traction. I was interested in this and had been considering going natural for awhile since I didn't like the process of straightening my hair at all (in fact I hate having to go to a hair salon at all). After doing a bit of research I realized that I can use many of the natural ingredients that I had been learning about in my pagan lessons and using in my personal practice and take it one step further by using them to improve my health. Keeping my hair and skin healthy by no longer using products that had chemicals I was allergic too and starting to make my own hair and body care mixtures was so freeing. As I mentioned in my Allergies post, I am allergic to a lot of things and while this is more annoying than hazardous, it can be distracting and stressful after awhile. These natural ingredients helped take some of the load off. I wound up learning more about myself and my spiritual path.

As I mentioned previously, a friend (a witchy friend to be more specific) told me about Etsy where people can sell their handmade items. After I decided that this was a path I wanted to take another witchy friend agreed to be my business consultant. I talked in a previous post about the 'homework' she would give me. One such assignment was to think about myself and all the different facets and how I can use some or all of them to personalize my products. How can I make them stick out. She suggested I try to include my spirituality in some way. After looking around Etsy, I decided not to do that. There were tons of witches and other pagans selling their wares, spells, potions, etc. They all seemed more experienced and knowledgeable than me at the time. Nowadays things are different on Etsy due to some of their policy changes.

However, now after being a part of the Etsy and pagan communities online and in the real world I better understand finding your niche and selling something you love. As I continue to learn about herbs, skin care, aromatherapy and expanding my knowledge into related areas such as body care, self care, Reiki, chemistry, perfumery, aromachology and more, I see more connections with my spirituality. And vise-versa. I am inspired by my own spiritual journey as well as that of those around me. Right now as I am on the cusp of revealing two new product lines that have been years in the making, I keep jotting down new product ideas I want to explore. 

I had my first ever tarot card business reading recently and everything pointed to my including my spirituality in my business and using my business to clarify and expand my personal practice as nothing but a good thing. Now, I'm not one to believe in fate and having your whole life being predestined to the point where there is no choice. But I do believe in reading the signs, of weighing your options and choosing from the many possibilities. I feel we are both independent beings and connected to those around us. That every choice we make can lead us somewhere different. At this time I've made the choice to longer make such an effort to keep my businesses and my spirituality apart. I think they can only enhance each other as they have already. 

So that's how I got started. And its also how I plan to go on. 
~Lashette
Scarlet Moon Creations

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