Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What is Pathworking and why is there a goose

So we, and by we I mean me understand daily practice, and what that means to me. And I recently furthered that understanding when I watched a youtube video with Laurie Cabot, where she said

“We get up the morning and we balanced our energies with the cosmos, the moon, the starts and the ground we walk on, so it is consciousness that is a way of life”

Currently I am having difficult getting my head around “Pathworking”. I believe that I understand what path means or “My Path” it is a term that is freely bandied about in the pagan community and people seem to have an innate understanding of it. The students in my class the other night all nodded their heads when I asked them. However “Pathworking” I'm at a loss to explain. While on the one hand that intuitive hand I understand, on the other hand I can’t seem to quite find into suitable words...

My path is easy, well I know what it is and the understanding of it is deepening everyday. ok it was not really as easy as all that but now that i have settled into it, i am walking it.. finding it however not so easy. Now for me my path is where spirit leads me, what the Divine has revealed and helped me to understand about myself, my places in this world and what it is that fulfils me. I am a Witch, Priestess, and Teacher. It is my path to introduce others, to help others find their path, what ever path that may be, Eclectic Witch, Wiccan, traditionalist, ceremonial magical, pagan priestess, Christian, Rabbi, what ever really.. It took me a while to recognise that I was doing this and this was something that I had kinda been doing all along but hey, I am much more confident now, and through this path of teaching and helping people find their own paths I am learning so much more. But still not sure if I really understand this concept of Pathworking.

Pathwork, I presume is the work that you do once you have found or are finding your path right? So would that not mean that Pathworking is the way you go about finding you path? That also makes sense.. But still I feel like something is missing. one of my students commented that it sounded not that dissimilar to that of finding out what you wanted to be when you grew up, although his words where much more eloquent than mine. Given that in that job type aspect I still have no idea about what I want to be or do as a job, is it any wonder that I am having trouble with figuring out Pathworking.

So let’s look at this from a different angle.. So if pathworking is how you go about finding your path, and I know where my path is, how did I get there? Gosh that takes me back. Let’s see, well umm, *ponders* That's a lot harder than first thought. At 17ish I knew that I was looking for something but had no idea about what that was, I can remember being very drawn by the word Witch, going so far as to trichem (fabric pain in pen-ish form) the picture of a witch on a broomstick flying through the moon on the back of a white demin jacket, it was awsome and I wore that jacket to death. however i did not have any clue beyond being drawn to this word Witch.

Then fast forward a few years, a few very difficult lessons, i am 25 and I had a flatmate who was a witch. When I first meet her she took one look at me and said ‘so you are a Witch then!’ boy did that ring bells especially after she gave me Cunningham’s solitary practitioner and said "you should read this" after that I became an avid reader, and not only was I reading but I spent a lot of time discussing things magic, as well as giving it a bash, <---- kiwism, and gosh did giving it a bash get some results, there was the blessing candle, that nearly burnt down the wall of the house. Thats a well blessed baby said my flatmate. The cursing with a twist and an understanding that not everybody was nice. The centering and grounding and the energies of the earth that sang, caressed and spoke volumes. The voices, some might call them the Divine, me i thought people that heard voices where nuts. The guide, and the acceptance that the voices did not mean i was going to be the old crazy lady to with many guides. The Divine, and how it felt to be in the presence of. It all became integrated into my life in a seemly effortless way, natural some might say. the acknowedgement of sometimes just knowing stuff, of heart knowedge, someone sat me down oneday and said to me “I have never meet anyone who is so intouch with their heart knowedge”

Eventually moved to Wellington long term after having a few false starts in other cities, started university as a mature student and settled into a degree with honours in religious studies. I found the internet, message boards, websites, witchvox, and had any conversations with many different pagans all over the English speaking west.. Ok mostly American but hey there were some Australians and Canadians to. l learned the difference between northern hemisphere and southern, i part took in an online healing ritual that was quite global, with interweaving energies going both clockwise, and anticlockwise. i learn the importance of grounding after said ritual. I meet up with others, started a coffee evening, found a strong dislike for being considered a guru, so ran away. It could be said when I look back that this was about the time that I spent doing this elusive pathworking. while I did not approach it in a orderly manner and at times I might of be blatantly ignoring, and got slap up side the head quite often by the powers that be aka the Divine, I certainly did a lot of thinking, of pondering and a lot of finding out information, reading, talking with people, in some ways who ever would listen. I gave two conference papers, one on my honour paper, and one on my thesis topic. i learnt about community and history and romanticised mythological history. I guess you could say I was gathering the pieces of a puzzle, a puzzle that was my path and where I was meant to be going on this path.

after a while I left university, (read ran screaming for the hills after 10 years) and started on a new path, you see all through university I believed that I was going to be an academic, one who studied Modern Paganism, one who had something different to offer as I was from New Zealand and New Zealand had a somewhat different pagan culture to that of Australia, Canada, American and Britain. However I was to find out that this was not my path. when push came to shove, the belief of becoming an academic dropped of, but still the draw, nay need to teach, to share to help people discover their won paths, was becoming stronger and stronger. I learned about institutionalising and tall poppies.

I started going to the Woolshed, a pagan place and retreat run by Pamela Meekings-Stuart, the voices and urge became stronger, Pamela was also encouraging and vocal.. *laughs*. Then I joined in with the occasional open women’s only full moon group, where i learned about and went through initiation, and self dedication. I went to a lughnasadh camp with the druids and then did so again the following year, as well as a few magick earth festivals. It was around this time and with the encouragement and support from people at the woolshed that I dedicated myself to the divine and my path, of Witch, Priestess and Teacher, and as a Witch Priestess and Teacher I was dedicating myself to the Pagan Community in Wellington, my community. not longer after i the witnessed self dedication i started teching my first set of classes, i learned about learning more, facilitating and gain a new tribe member and new friends.

Of course there are a few things missing from the above, the experience with the goose and the lesson that it brought, and the times spent at Kiwiburn with my tribe and chosen family. in a round about not so obvious way I for most of the last 15 years Plus, I have been Pathworking, not what I would call on a conscious level, but certainly Pathworking. it has all the hall marks right, self development, learning, discovering, shadow work (that would be the aforementioned goose) finding my courage, inner strength, and heart knowledge, as well as acknowledging that yes I had a job to do and yes I was an instrument of the divine, somewhat reluctant at first but i got there and am still getting there. at one of the first festivals i attended i ended up being referred to as the irreverent Witch because i called a Willendorf Goddess statue a booby doll, i still have that statue and still call it my booby doll More recently I have been learning that I do not need to do everything by myself, there are others out there who can help and want to help. Am I sharing too much about myself... maybe but then again maybe not?

So that is pathworking.. But still I wonder if I am not missing something, *ponders this* Perhaps what i am missing is how to teach pathworking to others. Is there a ritual? A way of pathworking, a specific thing, way, something that I am missing? Anybody have any suggestions? Or can point me to a website, book or blog that is on this topic? See look, I’m asking for help.. *grins*

Maybe pathworking is the physical act of walking your path and seeing where it takes you?


  1. Interesting. Where I'm from Pathworking is guiding someone through mediation or (more commonly) shamanic journey. Teaching another to walk the paths of the otherworld.

    It is not what tradition you practice or how you practice it. Though since Pathworking is often your first foray into mediation, astral travel and shamanic journey the information you pick is often revealing your spiritual path or which tradition is right for you. Along with helping you learn to connect with totems, familiar spirits and ancestors.

    Basically "Here are the paths of the otherworld I have travelled, let me show you how to navigate them"

    ~ Juniper

  2. Thank you thank you thank you!! Receiving your package had to be the nicest gift in a long while...

    Couldn't find your email address anywhere.


  3. Jeni: ohh.. so i was so on the wrong track, so to speak. i think what was confusing me was the path bit of both words.. to my mind it seemed like they should be similar things or at least connected. i guess for some they might be in that way that their path is pathworking navigating the spirit roads, and journeying. pathworking i not so much about finding your path, although i figure that pathworking can be used in order to help understand your path or where i might be going. mmm.. that makes much more sense.. *ponders this*

    yay thank you *smiles*

  4. Hi Polly,

    Pathworking is the correct trem for what is often called "Guided Meditation".

    The idea being the the guide is taking the person on a journey for certain purposes or exploration. Often using symbols or visualisation.

    It also be done solo. Where an idea is "caught", like as if in a butterfly net, and then followed. The original concept is the "guide" and the "guider" is ones' own internal subconscious.

    Some of the original ones' use the Tree of Life, as a method/systematic approach, but hopefully todays' pagan gods/goddesses allow a richer tapestry. Although having said that it's worth knowing a bit before guiding others, as it can stimulate the deeper mind (kind of the point I suppose).

    The use of "My Path" reflects the divergence from traditional church OR [initiate] Wiccan Traditions (or cunning craft). The term "Trad" became limited, especially as teachings from Buddhists and Hinduism tended to be popular, and the world became more accepting of free-wheeling philosophy as part of peoples' spiritual journey. So it become more common to find people who "didn't have a religion" (ie not Catholic or Protestant) and yet weren't adherents to Eastern religions. They were following their own "Path" and I assume(!) the term is adopted from the Buddhist translations.

    Pathworking is also -not- astral travel, astral work or astral journeying.

    Part of the reason "Guided Meditation" as a term, is being phased out to the proper term, is that it tends to confuse people about what (technical) Meditation is. (which in 10 words or less, is about stillness and being at rest in the universe/mind). As you can see from that "definition" Guided Med, would be an oxymoron.

    need clarification, drop me a line on PagaNZ. Or check with Bob (or possibly Murray) as they should be up on the play with the differences.