Daily Archives: August 21, 2011

The Fluffy Bunnie

The Fluffy Bunnie

Author: Anniekate

Having been told what the definition of “fluffy bunnie” is by the more supposed ‘learned’ in the Pagan/Wiccan community, I thought it was long overdue that I go on a quest and find out what a ‘fluffy bunnie’ really is. Researching it a bit has been an embarrassing as well as eye opening experience because of the abundance of incorrect information or just plain ‘opinions as facts’ that I have found in my search.

Rejected by a LiveJournal group as being ‘too new’ (This status apparently being one of the main fluffy bunnie indicators) , I had my ideas shot down because I was not as experienced as those who apparently have been practicing magic since popping out of the birth canal or have a long lineage of practicing magic folk in their ancestry. Hah!

One of the ideas often held by the fluffy bunnie is the idea one is automatically Pagan/Wiccan after reading one book. Nonsense. The Bible is a collection of more than one book — it is in reality 66 books — and reading the entire Bible does not make one a Christian. Becoming a Christian (for the ones who actually are) is a life changing experience, with the Bible being a guide in the mundane as well as spiritual life. Being raised Christian, going to church every Sunday, even attending a Christian college does not automatically make one a Christian. Same rules apply in Wicca.

Another part of the fluffy bunnie phenomena, I have heard, is the wearing of 50-million chains about the neck and dressing like Dracula. Unless you are a Goth, most Pagan/Wiccans look like everyone else. That does not mean however, that a true Wiccan/Pagan cannot wear what they want, even if it is a lot of jewelry, or black clothing.

There is no rule against being Goth and Pagan/Wiccan. Ask Raven Digitalis, or is he considered a fluffy bunnie because he can pull off both? Even if one is considered a fluffy bunnie like Silver Ravenwolf, is it not possible to learn from her anyway? Maybe on what NOT to do and maybe some of her thoughts and ideas can be beneficial? We study history to (hopefully) learn from the past. Not everything from the past has been a lesson in success and the best of human behavior. We can learn from our history on what is the worst in humankind as well.

People new to being Pagan/Wiccan are considered fluffy bunnies for no other reason than for being new. It is ridiculous and very shortsighted of people to think that they cannot learn something from another who may not be as old or as much of an expert on a subject than someone else. No matter what, there is always going to be an older and smarter individual than you are. If you do not think that is true, you live in a make believe world occupied by cute pink elephants, or your head is stuck in a dark place and we will not specify where.

There are teachers out there, or experts, who know full well they learn more from their students than another teacher. Children are more open-minded to things than adults are. They are like sponges soaking up information and knowledge like it was food. Children are ‘newbies’ to life, yet they have a lot to teach us if we in turn can be open-minded enough. Great ideas are created not just by the experts, but also by those who have a fresh view of the idea that the expert may not have even considered.

To be blunt, there are a lot of Pagan/Wiccans who believe that some of the hallmarks of fluffy bunnies are found in “those who refuse to learn, refuse to think, and refuse to consider the possibility that they could be wrong.” (Catherine Noble Beyer, 2002-2009)

Well, that could be true of many people, experienced or not. Wow. However there are people who do claim to be Pagan/Wiccan for shock value and think it is really neat to curse people, or become Pagan/Wiccan because it is the exact opposite of Christianity. These people are fluffy bunnies. They are not truly Pagan/Wiccan, but are looking for something else. Maybe some therapy is in order.

This is not to say that someone who has been raised Christian all his/her life cannot become Pagan/Wiccan. Some of us were raised in that environment, but have always known that they never fit in, or they never bought into the dogma that just what the ‘church’ says could be right or wrong. It is also untrue that someone who has been in a predominantly male religion/lifestyle cannot be Pagan/Wiccan, as discovering the Goddess for the first time is like a breath of fresh air, and/or like coming home. The teenage rebel might also become a true Pagan/Wiccan, as some of us have discovered that being Pagan/Wiccan can bring more peace and harmony to one’s life.

Fluffy Bunnies supposedly believe that there is light, love, harmony, and all those wonderful Tele Tubby type feelings, and no bad stuff. Really? Take a look at the Ying Yang symbol. There is duality in all things: light and dark, good and bad, male and female, etc. Some actually believe we cannot have good without evil, or light without dark. The fact is, everywhere you look there are opposites and they coexist with one another. Human beings are capable of the greatest feats of courage, goodness, and love, as well as capable of cowardice, evil, and hate. You only have to turn on the news, look on the Internet, and read a paper to know that this is a fact.

There was a discussion question up on an Internet group on the subject of lying. Some felt that since some in the animal kingdom use the art of deception, lying is really not that big of a deal. It is just a ‘rule’ that one can choose to follow or not. Some believe that lying is like throwing a rock into a body of water, and the ripples from it, spread ever wide. Others think it is okay to lie if it is a ‘white lie’ to protect a person, like saying your 300-pound friend looks lovely in an outfit that is not flattering to her.

A friend said this, “On the issue of lying, I don’t think there is an answer. Maybe the closest one was actually in a little book of anecdotes from the Buddha’s life that I skimmed through once, while loitering in a bookstore. In Buddhism, the gravest sin is lying. However, even the Buddha had to tell a lie once, out of compassion. Thus, sins must sometimes be subservient to virtues. And the highest virtue of Buddhism is compassion.”

Most people agree that telling your wife you are home late because of work when truthfully you instead were out cheating with her best friend are two different things. But maybe not. Depends if you buy into the idea that lying is a man-made rule and not a natural one. I might buy that if I was actually an animal and needed deception to catch my lunch or avoid being one. Hopefully, as human animals, are more evolved than that.

Everyone who is Wiccan or Pagan, Buddhist, and even Christian, has their own path to follow, one that another may not agree with. Your relationship to the Universe, God, Lord and Lady, or the Spaghetti Monster, IS going to be different than another person’s because we are all individuals. Each one’s path is as unique as the individual — otherwise it is not a spiritual path you are following, but a cookie recipe. And let’s face it; even though you use the same cookie recipe over and over again, you know that sometimes the cookies do not always turn out the same way each time. Maybe this is an oversimplification, but you get the general idea.

No human being on the planet is perfect, including Pagans/Wiccans. No one is going up for sainthood anytime soon. However, that does not mean that we cannot try and act like adults, even when we disagree with one another. That includes not lowering ourselves to name-calling.

Calling someone a “fluffy bunnie” because you do not like what he/she has to say or because he/she holds a differing opinion than you or your clan does, is childish and immature. And the reason why some of us know this is because we have been guilty of it ourselves.

No, we are not all going to get along. To believe that just because we are Pagan/Wiccan, and someone else is too, does not mean that they or we are going to act somehow better than anyone else because they and we both claim to be Pagan/Wiccan. There are bad and good people and so it stands to reason that there are going to be bad and good Pagans/Wiccans. To think that a person claiming to be Pagan/Wiccan cannot possibly be a bad person is another sign of the “fluffy bunnie syndrome”.

The one thing that can work to counteract the whole fluffy bunnie thing is knowledge. However if a fluffy bunnie does not think that he/she needs to be educated beyond the one or two authors he/she has read, it is going to be an uphill battle. And there is no use in trying to fight with these people to change their minds, as you get sucked into the nonsense right along with them.

You can hope that they come to their senses, grow up a little, and realize that some of their preconceived ideas on what being Pagan/Wiccan was all about were not exactly accurate. At one time, all of us who claim to be Pagan/Wiccan were beginners. We all made mistakes. We held innocent and naive ideas on what Pagans/Wiccans were really all about. We were pigheaded enough to think that we were right — even though we were not – and we did all of the other things that newbies do and get called fluffy bunnies for.

To say that you never did this is being dishonest and you are doing the very thing actual fluffy bunnies do: refuse to learn. Being Pagan/Wiccan means learning those tough lessons and hopefully changing as a person by growing from the errors that we make.



Footnotes:
http://wicca.timerift.net/fluffy.shtml
http://www.soulrebels.com/beth/fluffy.html
http://www.radicalsapphoq.blogspot.com/2007/02/thoughts-on-bashing-fluffy-bunnies-by.html

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Before You Call Yourself A Witch

Before You Call Yourself A Witch

Author: Alorer

“When can I call myself a Witch? What are the basics everyone is telling me to learn first?” In this essay I will try to provide you with some answers to these questions. Please note that this is by no means the “end-all, be-all” of such views; it’s simply my own answer to a seeker’s aforementioned questions. Take it with a grain of salt people; this is the Internet after all!

So, you found a path that seems to fit you and satiate your spiritual hunger. You have probably read a couple of books, skimmed through a couple of sites, talked with a couple of people and feel a genuine, honest and strong pull towards religious Witchcraft. Thus you proceed to call yourself a Witch. Right?

No!

Before you pause in disbelief and stare the screen calling me all sorts have… names (mehehehe) for my apparent “bigotry” stop and think. What does calling yourself a Witch entails? Is it just a name for this spirituality that anyone delving into can take up? Or does it mean something more, something deeper?

Well, I’d say the second. Why you ask? Because any name or title of any empirical, practical and knowledge-filled system has specific connotations and denotes an understanding and a form of capability in the name’s/title’s fields. For our own example, what does one profess, even unknowingly, when taking up the name of a Witch? Well, you’ll find that views differ on this (just as they do on any other subject) , so I’ll present my own view here.

I believe that by calling one’s self a Witch, that person professes a level of mastery, understanding and experience in a variety of fields. Specifically, it denotes a range of various experiences, a degree of mastery over various arts of Witchcraft, a developed and well-grounded spirituality and an effective relationship with deity. I doubt any newbie that starts studying or is at the first few months of their studies have attained or reached any of those things.

I’ll provide a list of requirements that one should meet before they can take the name Witch for their path.

1. Sabbats: One should have acquired an understanding and comprehension of what the Wheel of the Year and its Sabbats deal with as well as have observed it wholly (without having missed any of the sacred days) at least once (meaning, throughout at least a year) .

2. Seats: One should have acquired an understanding and comprehension of what an Esbat deals with as well as have observed any number of Esbats between 4-7 or more within a year.

3. Arts and Crafts: One should have acquired an understanding and comprehension of a number of arts of Witchcraft of their choice and preference as well as have attained a level of mastery in those.

4. Deities: One should have acquired an understanding and comprehension of the deities of their choice and preference or calling as well as have built a working relationship with them.

5. Organization and Structure: One should have formed and follow a standard, stabilized and concrete path, with regular observances, rites and practices.

Of course, those apply on a specific form of religious Witchcraft, one that is influenced heavily by outer court Wiccan material (known as Neo-Wicca or Dedicatory Religious Witchcraft) or has Celtic influences. If you find yourself drawn to another form of religious Witchcraft, simply replace the sacred days, the requirements etc with the appropriate ones. In addition, this is geared mostly towards solitaries and not people under training with a traditional coven. If you happen to fall under the latter, please consult with your uplines/High Priest/ess regarding the requirements that specific Tradition has set.

Why do I say all this? What does it matter whether you meet certain requirements or not? I say all this and it matters because to call yourself something you have not yet attained, have not yet fully understood and have not yet fully realized will cause issues.

First of all, it will deceive and trouble those that seek you out for help be it practical or spiritual. Second of all, it will confuse you since you’ll find yourself unable to neither meet the expectations of the community nor help those in need. You’ll say, “But I don’t intend doing so!” I know you probably don’t wish to deceive others or find yourself in a tough position.

I’ll give you an example: let’s say you have a medical issue and want to find what it is and how to treat it. What will you do? You’ll probably seek out a doctor. Now, think for a moment how you will feel if the person you found calls him/herself a doctor but in all actuality is still only a sophomore of medical school. Won’t it cause you problems? It’s something similar with calling one’s self a Witch.

After reading all this you’ll most probably feel confused, lost and wondering, “What the heck do I call myself then?” Call yourself a Seeker. Call yourself a Student. Or find another term that fits your case better. However, I ask that you do not mislead others and burden yourself by calling your path something it isn’t yet or something it might never be.

NOTE: Due to the fact people might overlook this part of the essay: this refers only to Wiccan-influenced paths. If your path is different, more power to you. I am not Wiccan-influenced either. I simply understand that the majority of people are indeed on such a path, at least while in their Pagan “infancy”. These are completely my own views of the “basics” of such a path. I am in no way an authority on a subject. My word is not law; it’s not written on stone.

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A Wiccan’s Rant on “Wiccans”

A Wiccan’s Rant on “Wiccans”

Author: Sunbear

I’m a young, American, teenage Pagan raised Christian and brought up going to church every Sunday. When I was in 9th grade my parents found out (I was outed by a friend’s dad) . My dad almost cried and my mom wanted an exorcism performed. Over the years they’ve grown more used to the fact and my mom has pretty much adopted paganism too. Sound familiar?

Almost every Pagan I’ve met since I began my spiritual journey was raised Christian, but most of the Pagans I’ve met are teenagers as well. Converting from one religion to another is something I feel is important, because religion should be something you choose yourself and not something chosen for you. But, and I’m sure there are plenty of you who agree, there are quite a few teenagers who are converting (and I use the term loosely) for the wrong reasons.

Go to the mall, to the movies, the boardwalk, anywhere where there are lots of young people, and you’ll see them. Dark clothes, black eyeliner, maybe some bright hair colors, and it’s very likely that one or more will be wearing a pentacle without any grasp or knowledge of what the symbol, and the religion they are representing, means.

Now, let me make one thing very clear, because I’m sure that I just ticked a lot of people off. I’m not in any way shape or form putting down the gothic subculture. I’ve met many pagans who considered themselves goth and were very committed to the craft. There are many wonderful books on gothic Paganism, Gothcraft and Nocturnal Witchcraft, to name only two.

The only point I’m trying to make is that sometimes young teenagers will want to be rebellious and disappoint mommy and daddy for a laugh, or try to make themselves look cooler or more “hardcore”, so not only will they go to Hot Topic and outfit themselves with the latest goth clothing, they’ll strap on a pentacle and change their religion thing on MySpace to “Wiccan”.

I go to a technical school for Advertising Art and Design, and in the Cosmetology (makeup and hair) shop in my school, there’s a girl who will remain unnamed. She is in the middle of her own rebellious phase, and about a month or two ago, I looked on her MySpace and saw that she was supposedly a “Wiccan”. Surprised, I sent her a message and said I had never known before, I’d been practicing for a while and if she ever needed any help or advice to let me know.

When I got around to logging back in about a week later, she had replied my message and said this: “Well I actually don’t kno 2 much bout it i keep lookin stuf up bout it on the internet but all i get is stuff on witches! Lmao!”

I had two very strong urges at the same time. The first was to laugh as hard as I could; the second was to drive over to her house and shake her. I’m sure you all know the feeling.

Then, about three weeks ago I was at Wal-Mart with my boyfriend. We were checking out when the clerk asked me if I was “into that gothic stuff”. I checked myself over. Blue jeans, green, flowered T-shirt, and a brown hoodie.

I guess I looked confused, because he pointed at my chest and said, “You’re wearing a pentagram. Aren’t gothic people normally into that type of thing?”

I quickly explained that it was called a pentacle, that it didn’t have anything to do with devil worship (I know he didn’t ask, but it just starts to slip out after a while, you know?) , and that it was a religious symbol and not a fashion statement.

These two incidents are not isolated. I’ve spoken to a lot of people who were wearing a pentacle necklace who clearly described themselves as either Pagan or Wiccan, who gave explanations of their spiritual path as things like “I don’t believe in God” or “I wanted to explore the darker side of religion”, and I can’t help but wonder where these people are getting their information!

I mean, I know that we all have a different view of our spirituality — that’s what modern Paganism/Wicca is — but it kind of offended me that someone said he/she was a Wiccan because he/she didn’t believe in God. That’s just furthering the stereotype that we are a godless religion that worships a satanic figure.

I hate to think that a Christian person could ask these people about Wicca or Paganism and get an answer like that! I know that sometimes when I’m asked about my spiritual path one of the first questions is “Why don’t you believe in God?”

When that kid told me he was a Wiccan because he didn’t believe in God, I asked, “Do you mean you don’t believe in the Christian God?”

To which he replied, “No, I don’t believe in any God.”

I asked him where he got his information on Wicca, and he said that somebody told him about it and he thought it sounded cool because he could do magick! I immediately told him that that person obviously didn’t know what they were talking about and I gave him a run-down on what Paganism/Wicca really is. And he said that the Einstein who gave him the information didn’t tell him anything at I had just said. After our conversation he was no longer interested in the religion at all.

There are so many misconceptions about us as a group already that it scares me a little bit that there are people who walk around with no idea what they’re talking about spewing false information into the world.

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How the Internet Changed Paganism

How the Internet Changed Paganism

Author: Vivienne

The Internet is a wonderful tool used by numerous people worldwide. Although some might not admit it, most people rely on the Internet for most things that they do. Now, how does this relate to Paganism, one might ask? Well it seems that the Internet has made information on Paganism and the various traditions that it encompasses (i.e. Druidism, Wicca, etc) more accessible to people now a days. There are many articles on Paganism available to read on the Internet (not all are good but there are many informative pieces out there) .

If it weren’t for the wonder that is the world wide Internet, I probably would not be on the spiritual path that I am today- I cannot say that for sure but it is improbable. To be honest, I can’t quite remember exactly how I ended up typing “Wicca” into the Google search engine on my laptop computer. However, what I do know is that for some reason I did and it led me to reading various articles on the religion, that I now call my own. It led me to discover that there is a spiritual path that seems to encompass basically everything that I believe- in terms of what the divine is. It felt to me like I finally had found the spiritual path that I was meant to be on. Many people will understand what I am saying by this; that something which had been missing was finally filled. In fact, Wicca helped me become a better person and Paganism in general, is something that I find myself feeling extremely passionate about.

Now, I am a very music oriented person and immediately after making my little “discovery”, if you will, I went to YouTube and listened to various Pagan chants. It was the reassurance that I needed to go out and buy a few books on Paganism in general and Wicca specifically. Now, my story may seem a bit off topic, but I assure you it is perfectly relevant. The point I am trying to make it that through the Internet I had found Paganism- without the Internet I probably wouldn’t have. I even learned much of what I know from Pagan Podcasts, which I listened to on iTunes.

I do not consider myself what some would refer to as a Techno Pagan, to be honest, however I do believe that technology heavily contributed to my finding my current spiritual path; and I do not doubt for one second that many others would have similar stories to mine. So this may be a bit repetitive, for I mentioned it in various forms throughout this article, but I am very grateful that the Internet helped lead me to my Pagan spiritual path.

Some people may argue that the Internet making information on Paganism more accessible to be a negative thing; that it is becoming too “mainstream” because of how easily people can learn about it through the Internet. However, I strongly disagree with the people who say that, sure it is their opinion and they have a right to it but it is something that I will argue with- because quite frankly I disagree with it.

For one thing, just because something is mainstream doesn’t necessarily make it a bad thing at all. Sure some people may find that Paganism being a bit mysterious adds to its appeal. However, it is my belief that it also leads to some of the problems that people who do not consider themselves Pagan have with the spiritual path that we choose to follow. It is fair to say that generally people are afraid of what they don’t understand or what they don’t know. For example, most people are afraid of death because there is no one can definitively say what the afterlife is like, furthermore if there is even an afterlife. Sure we have many guesses about what comes after death but we never will really know. Therefore many people are afraid of death.

My analogy can apply to Paganism as well; some may see it as something that is to be feared and that it is something evil when in truth it’s not. But when something is shrouded in mystery then it is easier for people to be ignorant about not just Paganism, but anything in general. So basically what I am trying to say is that information about Paganism becoming more accessible to anyone isn’t a bad thing at all and in fact it is probably a good thing. If people at least have an idea of what something truly is, then it is probable that people will not jump to ignorant assumptions so much.

So basically, I think the Internet’s impact on Paganism in general has potential to be quite positive. In fact, I think it actually already is quite positive. Not only does it give basic information on our beliefs it also can help unite the Pagan community. Think about it, the Internet’s principle purpose is communication.

Even this article that I am writing is a form of communication using the Internet. I am communicating to you, the readers, my opinion on the matter of the Internet’s impact on paganism. Not only does the Internet help unite the Pagan community through *Witchvox (for example) , but other websites are helpful in allowing us the ability to communicate with one another.

Sites such as forums help us get to know about other members of the Pagan community as well as allow us to discuss and debate different issues and the like within our community. As well as communication, the Internet makes life easier for those of us who choose to remain “in the broom closet” do so. The web allows us to purchase things such as books, music, and tools for ritual, etcetera through the Internet. It allows those people anonymity that they may not have if they had to go to a Witch shop. Speaking of which- not everyone has a Pagan store where they live which is another way in which the Internet positively affects Paganism.

Any tools and such that one may need who do not happen to have a Witch shop where they live, have the ability to purchase whatever they might need through the internet. So in conclusion, the Internet has enabled us as Pagans to do so much. Communication, anonymity, and access to information being only some of the positive impacts that the Internet has made on Paganism.

Sure, one could argue that there may be some negatives when it comes to Paganism and the Internet. However, I ask you to ask yourself, is the Internet really making more of a negative impact on the Pagan community than a positive one? I certainly think not.



Footnotes:
Inciting a Riot Podcast- Hosted by Firelyte

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Daily Devotional Practises

Daily Devotional Practises

Author: Mr Araújo
For as long as I have been chatting online with other Pagans, I have been told stories of how life was somewhat sad without the presence of a religion with which a person can identify itself. I believe that this must be the case of nearly everybody here at The Witches’ Voice and it happens to be my case, of course. This is going to be an essay that explains my point of view on my own practices and how they came to be.

When one first decides to take the first step and enter the Craft, it is hard to avoid the temptation of jumping headfirst to the Initiation Ceremony. Although I have not discussed this with anyone else, I imagine that it might be quite true. After I decided that Wicca was a good Path for me, I immediately began searching online for its history and I was shocked – nearly all of the “founders” and their “heirs” belonged to covens and from what I could tell, their knowledge seemed so vast.

“How will I ever be as good as them?” I thought, worried that Gerald Gardner’s, Doreen Valiente’s, Raymond Buckland’s, Dayonis’ (amongst many others) legacy would be doomed in my hands. Whatever could I do not to venture off, far away from Wicca? And, most importantly, from the God and the Goddess?

First of all, I did a small Dedication ceremony – which was my very first ritual, in fact. I then began to focus very hard on my study of the Craft and I chose my sources very carefully. After I had read some of writings of the Founding Fathers and Mothers of Wicca, I decided to study earlier Pagan rituals.

Eventually my studies, beliefs and emotions led me to instituting my own set of devotional practices that filled in the blank left by the joy of the previous Sabbath and the yearning for the next one (I have never had the chance of safely celebrating an Esbat) . And so I began to wonder, yet again, if others did the same. But since I didn’t know of any other Pagan, let alone a Wiccan, I kept going. Today I know quite a few Pagans and most like to frequently keep in touch with the Gods, one way or another.

Yet, there are those – I have never met them, but I have been told that they are out there – who only celebrate the Sabbaths and Esbats and probably exclude any other contact with the divine. Forgive me for sounding too full of myself, but I don’t know how they do it. Perhaps it’s because they celebrate 20 or 21 rituals per year and that satisfies them – whilst I only have an average of 6 or 7, since I’ve never managed to celebrate Yule and I sometimes can’t celebrate Ostara or Mabon.

Personally, I feel a need, a thirst and a hunger to be in almost constant contact with the Gods! I’m not a religious fanatic, but ever since I discovered Wicca, I can’t have enough of the joy that is Their presence wherever I am.

So what are my daily rituals? To me, they aren’t very orthodox, since I am quite fond of my European background and heritage, but my research led me to the Ancient Egyptian practices. In case you’re familiar with them, yes, you’re right – I’ve adapted some of their rituals to my little “tradition”. Basically, I try to recognize the God and the Goddess in Their different aspects as the day goes by, and so I’ve adapted and made up small rituals for each aspect – devoid of almost all previous Egyptian symbolism.

When I wake up, I thank the Goddess for having protected me during my slumber. When I’m done with my morning routine, I go outside and greet the Sun Child and ask for His energy throughout the morning. If I happen to pass by my town’s river, I greet the Maiden; if I don’t, I do it in the bathroom (yes, that’s right) .

Once it’s time for lunch, I pray to the Sun Father for his strength, outside. If I have a patch of earth close to where I am, I drop by and give thanks to the Earth Mother for the meal I will enjoy in a few moments from then.

Finally, at dusk, I say my goodbye to the Elder God and give thanks for His gifts. At night, I greet the Goddess in whichever aspect She has taken, according to the Moon’s phase, of course – this can be considered a mini-Esbat, in fact. When I have the time, I actually gift the God and Goddess with offerings and I might use a Sacred Circle.

I know there are still other aspects of the Gods, but I doubt I could ever make up a ritual for each and every one of them and insert them into my daily routine. I also take some time to take care of my plants and to go to one of my town’s parks, where I enjoy the silent company of the trees.

I’ve never encountered anyone else who has such a need for daily devotions, or any website that details how they can be performed. That might be because they’re personal and intimate things that you simply don’t do if you’re not into them. Perhaps they can only be found after some research and introspection, but I bet most can find a personal little niche – be it praying, making offerings, meditating…

However I consider this to be an interesting subject, since Wicca has been evolving for many decades and its current diversity is overwhelming, even if we don’t take the unknown Traditions that have sprouted all over the world into consideration. Wicca began with just four Sabbaths and the Esbats; then, another four Sabbaths were added. Wiccaning, funeral, marriage and divorce rites followed.

Are daily devotions the next addition? Only time, the Wiccans, and the Gods will tell.

Merry meet and merry part, until we happily meet again!

Blessed be!

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Lady A’s Spell of the Day for Aug. 21: Enlighten Yourself Spell

Enlighten Yourself Spell

The following ingredients are needed:

Symbols for the Elements

3 Sage Leaves


Put your mind and body back into balance

Enlighten Yourself Spell 

From the Native Americans, this spiritual journey will help to put your mind and body back into balance.

Ideally this ritual should be preformed in open air at noon, with the four elements-earth,air,fire and water naturally present. If this is not possible,use substitute flowers or symbols;or a little soil from the earth;and incense stick for air;a yellow candle for fire;some spring water.

Place these in a circle and sit in the middle. Purify your face and hands by wiping them with sage,then clasp your hands,close your eyes,and let your thoughts drift away.

Open your ears and listen to the elements and nature around you. With your mind’s eye,become part of the water,and feel the warm earth in your hand and the soft breeze of the wind on your face. Feel the harmony and enjoy being at one with the world around you.

Use this ritual at any time to restore balance and harmony to your life.

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Gemstone of the Day for August 21 is CORAL

Coral

SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION: CaCo3, or calcium carbonate in the form of calcite,
is the main constituent of calcareous corals; minor constituents are MgCo3, or
magnesium carbonate and proteinaceous organic substances, which act as
binding agents. At 2.5 to 4, the hardness is slightly higher than that of
calcite. The skeletons of corals vary in color: from bright to dark red,
slightly orange-red, pink and white.

ENVIRONMENT: In all cases, coral consists of the branching skeletons of
animals which live in colonies planted on the seabed at depths varying from tens
to hundreds of meters. They are typical of warmish to very warm seas.
OCCURENCE: The most famous of these organisms is Corallium rubrum, which
lives in the waters of the Mediterranean and, despite its name, provides not
only red, but orange, pink, and white coral. Similar to this are Corallium
elatius, C. japonicum, and C. secundum, which mainly live off the coasts of
Japan, China, Indochina, the Philippines, and other archipelagos of the Indian
and Pacific Oceans. Coral colonies occupy large areas especially in the Pacific,
but also near the coast of South Africa, in the Red Sea, and to the east of
Australia.  These latter colonies, however, consist of madrepore, which has
little in common with the corals used as ornaments.

GEMSTONE INFORMATION: Most of the coral used since antiquity as an
ornamental material comes from the calcareous skeletons of colonies of marine
organisms of the phylum Cnidaria, order Corgonacea, genus Corallium. Corals
take a good polish. They also have a certain degree of elasticity and can be
heated and bent into bangles. Thin branches were and still are polished,
pierced, and threaded, unaltered, into necklaces. Larger pieces are cut into
spherical or faceted necklace beads, pear shapes for pendant jewelry, or
cabochons. It is also used for carved pieces and small figurines, in both
oriental and western art styles. The most highly prized varieties of coral are
those that are a uniform, strong bright red.

NAME: The name is derived from the Latin [corallium,] related to the Greek
[korallion].

LEGEND and LORE: The oldest known findings of red coral date from the
Mesopotam-ian civilization, i.e. from about 3000 BC. For centuries, this was the
coral par excellence, and at the time of Pliny the Elder it was apparently much
appreciated in India, even more than in Europe. Red coral has traditionally been
used as a protection from the “evil eye” and as a cure for sterility.  One of
the Greek names for Coral was Gorgeia, from the tradition that blood dripped
from the Head of Medea, which Perseus had deposited on some branches near the
seashore; which blood, becoming hard, was taken by the Sea Nymphs, and
planted in the sea. (8)

MAGICAL PROPERTIES: Coral is associated with Venus, Isis and Water. It has
been used as a form of protective magic for children for hundreds of years. 
Cunningham recommends it as a luck-attractor for living areas. Sailors use it as
a protection from bad weather while at sea. Red-orange coral is one of the four
element gemstones of the Pueblo Indians. It is one of the four colors used for
the directions in the Hopi/Zuni Road of Life. Coral is considered a
representative of the warm energy of the Sun, and the southern direction.

HEALING: Coral’s healing properties are mostly associated with Women, young
children and the elderly. For women it is said to increase fertility and
regulate menstruation. For young children, it is recommended to ease teething
and to prevent epilepsy. For the elderly, it is used as a cure for arthritis.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: I use coral at the lower Chakras for “Women’s
Healing.” In particular, I will use it for disorders relating to female
reproductive organs.  I also use it magically, to represent female fertility. I
have used it with some success for arthritis, but only for women. This is one of
the stones that I “reserve” for female/feminine use. (I use Carnelian as the
“male” counterpart.)  I have not had an opportunity to try it for a young child.

——-bibliography——-

1. Scientific, Environment, Occurrence and Name are from (or paraphrased from)
“Simon & Schuster’s Guide to Gems and Precious Stones”.

2. Precious and semi-precious gemstone information may come from
“Gemstones” by E. H. Rutland.

3. Other Precious and semi-precious gemstone information may come from
“Gem Cutting”, sec. ed., by John Sinkankas.

4. Legends and Lore, Magical Properties are from “Cunningham’s Encyclopedia
of Crystal, Gem & Metal Magic”, by Scott Cunningham.

5. Some of the healing information may come from “Color and Crystals, A
Journey Through the Chakras” by Joy Gardner.

6. Some of the healing information may come from “A Journey Through the
Chakras” by Joy Gardner.

7. Personal Experience is from MY personal experience, journals and notebooks,
by <grin> Tandika Star.

8. Some occult lore is from “The Occult and Curative Powers of Precious Stones”
by William T. Fernie, M.D.

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Herb of the Day for August 21 is RED SAGE

RED SAGE (Salvia officinalis)

To grow:
Perennial herb. Grows 1 1/2-2 ft high. Leaves are 1-2 inches long, narrow, and
gray green. It has tall spikes of violet blue flowers. Can plant in poor, but
well-drained soil, full sun. It is fairly drought resistant. Cut back after
bloom and fertilize if you cut continually. Divide every three or four years.
Propagate from cuttings, layers, or seeds.

Uses:
It is most widely used as a remedy for inflammations of the mouth, gums, tongue,
throat, and tonsils. As a gargle it will help laryngitis, pharyngitis,
tonsillitis, and quinsy. It reduces sweating when taken internally and may be
used to reduce the production of breast milk. It stimulates the muscles of the uterus and may be used as a compress to heal wounds.

Part used:
Leaves. Collect the leaves when the plant begins to flower in late spring or
early summer. Dry in the shade at a temperature not above 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Infusion:
Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1-2 tsp. of the leaves and leave to infuse for
10 minutes. Drink three times a day.

Mouthwash:
Bring 2 tsp. of the leaves and 1 PT of water to a boil. Let stand, covered for
15 minutes. Gargle deeply for 5-10 minutes several times a day.
Tincture:
Take 2-4 ml of the tincture three times a day.

CAUTION:
Avoid during pregnancy

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