Daily Archives: January 19, 2012

A Spell For Raising The Threshold Of Pain

We all have different levels of resistance to pain. These depend in part on our physiological and psychological make-up.  However, it is possible to raise the pain threshold through spiritual means – meditation is often used to increase resistance to pain. You can carry out this ritual before having an injection, surgery, dentistry or giving birth. The empowered pink or blue crystal can also be given to a child to hold while receiving an injection or dental treatment. The crystals can be re-empowered monthly.

You Will Need:

  • A deep-blue candle
  • A stick of lavender or rose incense or lavender or rose essential oil
  • A burner
  • A blue lace agate
  • Blue chalcedony
  • A soft-blue angelite crystal or pink rose quartz or manganocalcite
  • A soft purple amethyst or fluorite
  • A small blue drawstring bag

Timing

  • In the early morning or at twilight, if possible when it is raining gently outside

The Spell

  • Light the candle and set the incense or oil to burn.
  • Hold the blue or pink crystal in your lightly closed power hand, hand the purple crystal in your closed receptive hand. Keep your hands relaxed and at waist height.
  • Sit or stand in front of the candle, gazing into the flame, and raise your power hand to about should height.
  • Open it and say:

“I fill with power to resist pain.”

Return the hand to waist height.

  • Raise your receptive hand to shoulder height. Open this hand and say:

“I take away future pain.”

Return the hand to waist height.

  • Continue the hand actions and chants until the words have become a rhythmic flow in your mind. You may notice that the amethyst becomes noticeably heavier and darker, while the blue or pink crystal feels lighter and appears brighter or more translucent.
  • Place the two crystals in the drawstring bag in front of the candle and incense or oil while the candle and fragrance burn through.
  • Keep the bag in your medicine cabinet. Take the blue or pink crystal with you for any potentially uncomfortable treatment and hold it in your receptive hand. Afterwards light another candle and burn incense or oil as you repeat the ritual.

 

                                            Cassandra Eason’s
                                        Complete Book of Spells

 

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Solitaires Are Pagan Too!

Solitaires Are Pagan Too!

Author: Crick

Guess what, folks? Solitaires are pagans too!

Over the years I have personally visited many a different gathering, have been a participant in many divergent conversations and have been a member of numerous chat groups. And there seems to a divisive undercurrent in certain parts of the pagan community that solitaires are less pagan than anyone else. Good grief, do we really need this kind of elitist nonsense?

Neo paganism as it is today has to vie for acceptance in the general community at large because of misguided stereotypes. Because of the modern mind-set where everything has to fall under instant gratification or risk losing ones attention, there is a serious lack of will and discipline when it comes to learning the ages old principles of the Craft.

Add to that the proliferation of Christian concepts into paganism due to the influx of former members of that particular religion; and at the end of the day, neo paganism has more then its share of internal problems. Do we really want to ostracize folks simply because they want to pursue their spiritual path as individuals without a membership in a coven or similar gathering?

Does this attitude really make a particular gathering and/or person more pagan, then others? I personally have spent half of my pagan related journey involved with a family clan and covens and half as a solitaire. Does this make me only half as good a witch as I could be?

There seems to be one group in particular that has a problem with solitaires, which is something that I don’t understand at all. Please understand that this is not about singling out and pummeling any particular group, just a pragmatic view at issues which affect us all as pagans.
As such, the Wicca seems to be the one group that solitaires consistently cite as having divisive issues with. How the Wicca set up and run their gathering is no ones business but their own, but there are a few questions in general that begs an answer.

The Wicca has a well-known tenet that “all Wicca are witches but not all witches are Wicca”. It has been explained to me by various Wicca that one is not a true witch unless they have been initiated as a Wicca. For without such initiation one cannot be validated through lineage. This particular mindset would certainly leave out solitaires for such folks are usually self-initiated.
And any witch who came before 1954 and/or since who is not a Wicca would also be excluded under such narrow tenets.

Yet, unless I am missing the mark, paganism in general and witchcraft in particular did not begin in 1954 CE. And so such views leave the taint of elitism in the air.

So lets look at this viewpoint from that of a solitaire.

First of all, one could question what in the world does lineage have to do with the Craft?
Regardless of who from the mid 1950’s till now is in ones learning tree, it is the individual who is responsible for ones own spiritual growth and the way that one engages in acts of energy and other aspects of the Craft. If I may use an analogy, one can pay an instructor to teach them to be a black belt in karate; however the belt is only as good as the person that is wearing it at the time.

I realize that folks like to have a family tree or “lineage” as is the case here, to present to their peers, for bragging rights. But for all intents and purposes, it has little if any practical value in the Craft. When it comes to working with energy, even covens are made up of individuals who come together to weave their energy into a tapestry made up of their individual wills. So why solitaires should be disparaged for doing what is natural to them is a mystery unto itself.

Perhaps such thoughts present themselves within Wicca because in part, Wicca is fashioned off of the ideals of the Masonic Order. And those folks place a heavy emphasis on lineage. And yet another point to this concept that is confusing is that Cunningham was a self declared solitaire even though he was associated with the Wicca movement. Does the Wicca think less of an author who played a huge part in bringing them to the public eye even though he saw himself as a solitaire?

When Cunningham wrote and published his book Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner, was there any attempt by the Wicca to block such a hugely popular book? And were the proceeds from this book turned away because they were predicated upon unacceptable concepts as endorsed by the Wicca?

One cannot have it both ways. A group cannot accept the vehicle that brings them their greatest source of recognition and then denounce the folks who follow the precepts that such a vehicle was created from. That is commonly referred to as hypocrisy.

And this brings me to my next thought.

If such a well-known advocate of Wicca is given the nod to write a book for solitaires based upon Wicca tenets, even if it was a tacit nod. And then there is a ground surge of interest in Wicca because of said author, couldn’t one assume that there will be folks who will want to identify with Wicca without becoming a formal member of a Wicca coven?

Should such an interest and desire be used as a platform to snub folks in order for those doing the snubbing to feel more important about themselves? Is that what paganism is about?

Another tenet held forth by the Wicca is acceptance of others beliefs and the idea of diversity. Where do solitaires fit into these grand ideals or are such ideals, simply superficial window dressing for something else all together?

If it was okay to lure such folks into the fold when a profit was being made, should they be shunted aside now that they no longer serve such a purpose?

Paganism in general is considered a minority belief system because of the very successful propaganda put forth by the three main organized religions. Do we as a perceived religious/spiritual minority really want to turn away solitaires who are just as devoted to their spiritual journeys as are any other kind of pagan?

At the end of the day, there is no pagan group or gathering that is loftier then any other. For every gathering is the sum of its members. And even if that gathering happens to number only one member, they still count.

It would be a real act of maturity and growth if the pagan community as a whole would spend less energy on the “my pop is bigger then your pop mentality” and concentrate instead on the issues that “really” matter in a magickal and nature based belief system.

I’m sure that Mother Earth would appreciate a bit more attention.

Neo paganism in general seems to be wrapped up in convincing others of our ilk, of a perceived self-importance and level of ability, which in all reality so few have actually taken the time to cultivate. The rest of the time is taken up in trying to convince society in general which consists of the conquerors that we are a valid belief system, though paganism has been just that, for eons.

What causes such insecurities one may ask? And what causes one pagan associated group to feel that it is necessary to diminish those such as the solitaires, in order to elevate themselves to a dubious standing?

In my personal life I have served for a number of years as a HP of a very active witchcraft coven and yet as a student of shamanism, I practice as a solitaire. Does that make my glass half full or half empty? Or does it really matter?

At the end of the day, all of us, whether we practice as a solitaire or not, still have to answer to our chosen Deity in regards to our spiritual growth as individuals. And so in essence we are all solitaires at heart. Let’s put to rest the hypocrisy and antipathy over solitaires for they are our brothers and sisters walking a common ground.

Besides, elitism is nothing more then a façade that is devoid of any real substance.

And so in closing, yes, solitaires can be witches too!

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My Goddess in My Life

My Goddess in My Life

Author: Frostig

My eyes wander up to the sky and back to the earth, my mind drifting as my body slows. I feel her around me. My heart quickens. A light sweat forms on my brow but still knowing she is near calms my muscles. All at once, I am ready to move or ready to relax. I know she helps guide my path in this world. I asked her to help me make decision with me, not for me.

She is Freya, the Goddess whom I love with all of me. By profession, I am a soldier and have been for 18 years, but I enjoy a softer side of life as well in writing and poetry. She is my muse; she is a lover and a warrior, a strong woman who knows what she wants and is willing to make sacrifices to meet her goals, inspiring me to do the same: to look at the world through another’s eyes, from a different point of view, to see things with a glowing halo of light.

I feel her presence in the love of my wife. The tender care she gives me. Her understated strength; I can feel it in her words. She helps me and guides me. We are a team and accomplish things as one.

I have written before here and some of you may remember that this is my third tour in Iraq. I have never asked to given anything from her, but for advice and guidance only. I ask for safe journeys and if I must fight that, I do so with honor and integrity. That if I die it is on my own terms and that I may do so with respect and honor and in the aid my friends.

In my life, I have always felt the strength in a feminine power. A mother watching over me keeping me safe, a lover holding me in her arms letting my soul rest in her tender hold. In the presence of women I feel refreshed.

When I feel the presence of my Goddess near I feel as if the world will bow to me. I ask her to guide me and help the things in my life have fall into place. I trust in her and knowing that as long as I uphold the promises I have made, not only to myself but to her as well.

The devotion I have for my Goddess feels more like a relationship than worshipping. We seem to have a give and take. Sometimes if I get too full of myself she lets me stubble a bit to remind me I need to have humility.

When I am living clean and doing the right thing, I have found that for no reason things fall into my lap and gifts both mental and physical appear in my path for me. I know at that time I need to share them, not hold them all for me. True gifts are not yours to keep they are yours to share; it is a great responsibility and not one to be taken lightly. Even if the gift is a part of you, we must learn to give our time and our knowledge to help others.

I carry with me a few things at all times. One is a copy of the Nine Noble Virtues the other is a picture with a memorial poem of a friend, killed last year by a roadside bomb in Baghdad. The virtues are a constant reminder to me of the guidelines I work to live by each day. The picture of my friend reminds me that we can be taken at anytime and to live your life by touching and enriching the lives of others.

So here I sit, the middle of Iraq again. I know I am here for a reason; something started but left undone. I have begun by strengthening the position of the Pagan Open Circle here and with the help of other friends’ state side I am working towards a higher level of religious awareness in the military. I know if I trust in her and make sound decisions our goals will be met, together.

I know she will not do everything for me, I would never ask that, if she did the goals that are met would not feel as sweet and I would feel a lacking inside of me. I need to earn my accomplishments.

I have learned that you must have honesty with yourself before you can have a trusting relationship with anyone else. Feel the honesty deep with in your soul. When I first felt it, I was scared, scared because of the raw truth I told myself. I instantly had to be with others; solitude was not what I felt I needed.

Nevertheless, it is exactly what I needed, the time to go over things in my mind to see that this is what I needed; it was the truth in my soul.

This is when I first felt her with me, I did not know who “She” was it was my first time with this emotion, this feeling, this presence. I started asking questions in the dim light of a campfire, seen flickering through the nylon of a tent. Speaking with a woman, a Goddess in her own right, her answers led me to more questions. I began reading and reading and reading.

Then a day came while reading, I saw her name and it felt good inside me when I said it, I know now it was her. She came to lift me up, to show me who I could become; the man I was meant to be. I thank her everyday for holding me safe for all these years, always there holding me but never wanting me to know she was there.

Now I’ve seen her in my heart and I feel her smile upon me.

By living a good life, acknowledging my weaknesses and my strengths, knowing my limitations, and pushing them a little further everyday, this is how I honor her. To show I am worthy of her graces, this is how I live. I thank her and every woman who has the Goddess in her — you know who you are –

You have touched my life and prepared me to be the man I am to become.

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Stumbling Blocks to Following Your Own Path

Stumbling Blocks to Following Your Own Path

Author: Alfred Willowhawk, MMsc, RMT, CTM, Shaman

Introduction:

In my last article I spoke on how to choose and began the discussion on following one’s chosen path. As we defined this earlier a spiritual path is one where an individual is taking a route whether physically or metaphysically that pertains to the non-physical being of a person. The most important part of such a path is that the individual grows, learns, and expands and comes to reconciliation with their understanding of the metaphysical realms and their understanding of Deity (s) .

Stumbling Blocks to Spiritual Growth

As one researches, and gets in tune with their path they may find some stumbling blocks to their growth. Dictionary.com defines a stumbling block as: “an obstacle or hindrance to progress, belief, or understanding”. In other words, something that stops the movement on a particular path. These blocks are usually temporary unless an individual chooses to make them permanent.

These stumbling blocks may be in the form of lack of understanding, fear, abandonment, (by friends and family) , rejection, (personal, or societal) , pressure to be normal, or even unfortunately, pressure from people in the Business of Paganism, to keep people to themselves. Take this example:

Research

An individual feels a connection with Kali. A cursory search of the literature shows Kali as a terrible aspect of a goddess. In fact some say that she is actually a demon that eats people alive. Interestingly enough, in the definitive work, The Magic of Kali, translated by Michael Magee, it states that this interpretation of Kali comes from the suppression of a group called the Thuggies, who were such a problem for the British during the empire days. In fact, Kali or Mahaprakrti, is “ the destroyer of anxiety, giving boons, seated on a corpse, and gives all desires.”

Similarly, the Morrigan, of Irish repute, is sometimes considered a “Battle field Goddess” when instead she is actually a Goddess of prosperity and peace after war, and according to some other traditions, while she may indeed release the two ravens that are depicted with her to her followers, she morns and guides the dead of BOTH sides to the Summerlands.

As you can see, this could become a stumbling block to an individual who has neither the time nor the inclination to do proper research.

Fear, Abandonment, and rejection

Fear, abandonment, rejection and pressure to be normal are related to our culture and society. In the first article in this series (Choosing and Following Your Own Path) I stated that we are social creatures that desire acceptance. As the nature of a personal spiritual path is not necessarily the same as those around us, these pressures can be intense. It is only by being truly grounded and committed to our own path that one can stand up to these pressures. In my time as a Spiritual Coach one thing is constant. In the beginning parents, friends, relatives, and spouses can be frightened by, (what they perceive) , as a rejection of their values and ideals. Sometimes these loved ones exhibit psychological projection.

As cited in The Language of Psychology, (a psychology dictionary) : Psychological projection (or projection bias) can be defined as unconsciously assuming that others have the same or similar thoughts, beliefs, values, or positions on any given subject as oneself.

According to the theories of Sigmund Freud, it is a psychological defense mechanism whereby one “projects” one’s own undesirable thoughts, motivations, desires, feelings—basically parts of oneself—onto someone else (usually another person, but psychological projection onto animals and inanimate objects also occurs) .

In this particular example, a loved one projects their own fears, abandonment issues, and rejection onto the individual who has chosen another belief or spiritual path than what they perceive is acceptable. In most of my clients, over time, these same loved ones come to realize that the person in question becomes more peaceful, happy, and balanced as they settle into their own spiritual path.

The Business of Spiritual Growth

As for those who are “in the business”, this is unfortunately what happens to spirituality, when it is replaced with business. In my personal opinion, jealousy, prosperity, (monetary) , and mean spiritedness has no place in ANY business. As a facilitator of spiritual paths, I have no investment, or agenda, that I am following, and neither does ANY spiritual coach, facilitator, reader, shaman, or other worker in the field, who is truly following a Spiritual Path.

According to the Ethics Research Center, in 2005, 75% of those polled said they saw NO unethical behaviors in their workplaces. It is incumbent upon us as individuals to understand that ethical behavior is generally demonstrated in the workplace. Unethical behavior, when demonstrated is more easily spoken. Individuals who have been mis-treated by business people are more likely to share their stories than those who are treated well. Any competent businessperson will tell you that their employees are trained to be pleasant to customers. This is true in the business of Spiritual Growth as well.

First, investigate a potential spiritual guide with individuals who have actually worked with the individual, who can honestly evaluate if this person is worth perusing as a potential coach. Remember that not everyone is happy with the messages they receive from a spiritual worker. Your best choice is to speak to as many people as possible who have worked with that individual. One source of this type of information is testimonials from these actual clients.
Secondly, be cautious of individuals who are susceptible to gossip, or rumors, as these individuals tend to exacerbate and exaggerate issues that may or may not be present. After all, most individuals who facilitate spiritual paths that are not in the mainstream religions/spirituality don’t fit the traditional mold of a leader.

Thirdly, listen to your own guides and intuition. These are your BEST guides for YOUR path.

Each individual that truly facilitates or teaches within this discipline knows that bringing together individuals of diverse backgrounds, and paths to bring about the individual’s highest spiritual enlightenment doesn’t waste time bashing other workers. Many of my associates, follow Wiccan, Christian, Hindu, and First Peoples, (Native American) , paths and we all work together, as there is room for all. After all, since a person’s path is INDIVIDUAL, a particular facilitator cannot help everyone.

Financial Remuneration

Everyone has financial needs in this society. In tribal societies, the shaman, or spiritual worker is cared for by the community he or she serves. However, the individual in question is not doing this work as a JOB. Most of us, have been called to do this work, and are happy and honored to be able to facilitate other people’s paths. This isn’t to say, that a spiritual coach, teacher, or facilitator, should never accept support from their clients. It is all about intent. If the remuneration is paramount, then the work is secondary. I for one, and all those I work with, while we accept the funds that are offered, we don’t turn our backs on individuals who are guided to us, who do not have the financial wherewithal to “support” our work.

As one progresses in their particular path, they find various combinations of these and other stumbling blocks. Remember, it is YOUR choice what you follow.

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Paths and Journeys

Paths and Journeys

Author: Janice Van Cleve

Paths and journeys are not the same thing. Paths are like nouns and journeys are like verbs. Paths are routes that lead to this or that destination. Journeys, on the other hand, are how we drive on this or that path, where we have been, and where we think we are going. Sometimes we take one path and sometimes another. In fact, since we are pursuing multiple short term and long term goals all the time, we probably are journeying on multiple paths every day. We have career paths, relationship paths, financial paths, aging paths, health paths, and many more. We are driving at different speeds, in different vehicles, and talking on different cell phones. No wonder we sometimes get lost or crash into things.

Some paths are determined for us – by bosses, by laws, or by how much money we have or don’t have. Some paths we fall into by chance – job layoffs, traffic accidents, or forces of nature. Some paths we choose because we like the path or because we think it will get us to a desired destination. Spiritual paths are no different.

An illustration might clarify. When I was a Roman Catholic, my spiritual path was the church, my roadmap was the Baltimore catechism, and my destination was Rome. I suppose a good Mormon kid takes the interstate to Salt Lake City, a Muslim travels to Mecca, a Jew to Jerusalem, and a Buddhist evaporates into Nirvana, metaphorically speaking. It all seemed so clear to me back then that if I drove this path with this road map I would get to Rome just like they told me I should. A funny thing happened along the way, however. I got pulled over by the Holy Police and when they checked my drivers license and found out I was a lesbian, they said I couldn’t drive on that road.

So there I was out in the middle of Nowhere, Kansas, my journey aborted, and no clear destination. I got out of the car and wandered around in the cornfields for a while until I met a country girl who guided me to a side road. It was then I discovered that there was a whole network of side roads going to all sorts of interesting places. She told me that this was the Pagan path, or to be more accurate, one of many Pagan paths.

Pagan paths are fun. Some are long, some are short, and some are under construction. There are many intersections, many maps, and many road signs, but no Holy Police. Most of the paths don’t pretend to go to any one special destination; rather, they just seem to go for the joy of going. And that’s when I began to notice a striking thing about these Pagan paths. They have lots of interesting attractions on both sides of the road and no commandment or necessity to reach an ending. What a contrast to the Holy Roman path I had been driving on!

Or was it? Now that I had seen the reality of multiple paths, I looked back at that Catholic highway. For the first time I noticed that it had exit and entry ramps, too. There were Catholic road crews repairing and replacing sections of it as well. Even the Catholic road maps got updated eventually (although it took the Vatican 400 years to exonerate Galileo) . I had not been aware of the varieties of Catholic experience before. Then I noticed that not all the Muslims or all the Jews were driving down their respective straight and narrows either. I wondered then if all paths were actually more or less equal and a journey on any one of them would be just as meaningful and of value as any other. Then I heard the sirens of the Holy Police and I remembered the difference between the highways and the side roads.

That’s not to say I have not encountered sheriffs on the side roads but most of them are pretty laid back and the only laws they enforce are those of common civility and mutual respect as expressed in the Law of Love, the Wiccan Rede, Kharma, and such like. What really holds Pagan paths together is not enforcement but traditions, particularly their seasonal traditions. There’s no denying the seasons. They come and they go as the Wheel of the Year turns. Even in parts of the world where the differences of weather are minimal, the energy forces of each season are still at work. Our various traditions help us align with the seasons, the forces of the universe, and our inner spirits so we don’t get lost or crash.

Where do these traditions come from? Tevya asks that very question: “You may ask, how did this tradition get started? I’ll tell you. . . . I don’t know. But it’s a tradition, and because of our traditions every one of us knows who he is and what God expects of him. Traditions, traditions! Without our traditions, our lives would be as shaky as a fiddler on the roof!”

Our traditions come from many places – intentional design, borrowing from someplace else, a good idea that sticks, or who knows where? What makes a practice or a set of words a tradition is that it is used repeatedly over time and those who use it invest it with value through their applied energies. In ancient days it was the elders, the loremasters, the bards, and the shamans who remembered the traditions and passed them down orally through the generations. Modern Pagans – and other religious folk – write them down in Books of Shadows, prayer books, and liturgies.

Thus we have many paths, each supported and balanced by their traditions. However, paths all by themselves do not get us to our destinations. We have to choose which paths to follow, and when, and for how long. We have to put our own energies and efforts into motion. Scribes and shamans, priests and priestesses, bards and loremasters are responsible for maintaining the paths and traditions but only we are responsible for our individual journeys.

One of the most delightful features of paths – either side roads or highways – is that if they are alive, they are continually under construction. Our Women Of The Goddess Circle is a good example. It has been under construction for almost 19 years as of this writing. Over time it has developed some pretty good traditions and practices, based on much study, experience, and good judgment. That’s not to say that we haven’t built a bridge or two to nowhere in those years, but we learned and altered course as necessary. We continue to encourage our women to seek out many paths and bring back good ideas.

New ideas are sifted and even if they are tried, it is understood that they are on probation until they prove themselves. Too many changes too often can erode a group’s traditions. On the other hand, closing the door on changes that would improve the performance and appeal of a path could doom it to limited usefulness. The challenge is always to maintain a careful balance between tradition and change.

Part of that balance is to keep reminding ourselves of the mission and purpose of the group and of the path it is on. It is more important for each path to offer its own distinct features and attractions than for it to become either all things to all people or nothing to nobody. Another part of the balance is for each individual to take personal responsibility for their own journey, to contribute enthusiastically to the path she is on while she is on it, and to seek other paths to round out her spiritual needs.

As for myself, I follow the Dianic Wiccan path and I do have a care toward maintaining its traditions and those of the Women Of The Goddess Circle. However, I do journey sometimes on the Gnostic path or the Aquarian path, or I take to the stars with astrology or take to the outdoors alone into the wilds of Nature. My journey is enriched by all of them – and out here there are no Holy Police.

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Satan: Not My God

Satan: Not My God

Author: Lady Abigail

“So, you‘re a Witch. Do you worship Satan?”

I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked that question. It does not seem to matter what tradition you may happen to work with; Eclectic, Druid, Celtic, Wiccan, and so forth, you have most likely been asked this question yourself. Somehow, if you do not believe in the Christian male god of everything, you must believe in and therefore worship Satan.

Occasionally, the name may be different, according to whom they see as this entity of evil. (Devil, Satan, Beelzebub and Lucifer being only a few on a long list of names.) Yet, the question is continuously asked.

Most of us have tried to respectfully explain to people that we don’t believe in a devil or a hell. This often gets a few strange looks, or a question of what we do believe in.

I believe that some of the people who ask this question, “Do you worship Satan?” don’t really care what the answer is. They are those people who believe they already have all the answers and most of them what to tell me what that answer is.

So I have decided that rather than try to explain to them that my beliefs do not consider Satan as valid, I simply say, “No, I don’t worship any of the Christian/Judaeo Gods, good or evil.” That always brings an immediate response. “What do you mean, Christian/Judaeo Gods?”

I reply that Satan, by whatever name he may be called, is the their God of Evil, not mine. I have to say, I have received more than a few puzzled looks, not to mention, shock, frustration, and some extremely nasty words.

The idea that Satan is their god of evil enrages many within the some of the mainstream faiths.
But, the truth is, Satan is considered by many as evil personified. He is the enemy of their heavenly God. There are a few additional faiths that believe in a concept of an evil godlike being, although it has been my experience, that none of those give him such absolute power and reverence as those of the mainstream religions.

Numerous followers of the Bible consider Satan to be not only real, but also created by God to be ruler of Hell. Satan, the God of Hell, was put in this position of authority over all the horrors that occur in human life, via the God of Heaven. Satan is distinguished in this arrangement as the God of Evil. He is seen as a very real and valid part of these mainstream religions.

A few years ago, there was a mini series called, “Revelations.” Actor Bill Pullman plays the part of Dr. Massy, a noted expert on Satanism, who had his daughter (who was to be a virgin sacrifice) killed by the followers of Satan. Natascha McFlhone plays the part of Sister Jo, a nun who goes out to prove, or disprove, miracles concerning the coming of Christ and the Anti-Christ. Together they travel the world battling evil and a demented Satanist, played by Michael Massee.

The reason I reference this program is because, no matter how enlightened we think we are as a society, this is how many see Satan. Their concept of the Devil, in a very physical form, is of a being looking to put an end to all that is good in the world. In this series, we see evil lurking around every corner, children being stolen, and the possible destruction of the world.

Disappointingly, some of the scenes show people chanting, likened to Witches, along with the working of magick and rituals for some diabolical propose. Pentagrams are displayed as the sign of the Devil; just another one of a thousand times the symbolism of Witches, something we are proud of, is used and intermingled with those of a Devil to whom we do not give credence. Nonetheless, it is assumed by numerous people watching, that those chanting persons working evil rituals and magick are also Witches.

It seems impossible to find any recorded history or sacred text, religious or otherwise, that gives reference to a Devil, Satan, Demon, or Lucifer, before or outside these mainstream religions.

For thousands of years, the ancient knowledge was verbally passed from generation to generation. Yet, many of the stories, folklore, and teachings of the Gods and Goddesses are the same throughout history, with only cultural differences represented. This includes the majority of stories found in the Bible. Surprising, many (if not all) of the Bible stories we know today are found in ancient writings of numerous societies that pre-date the biblical writings by centuries. Yet, none of these speak of a Devil, not having the requirement of a God of Evil who could be blamed for the debauchery in the world.

Subsequently, where did Satan, this demonic Devil, come from? The only writings I can find on Satan, or the description of Satan, come from the Bible. Satan is mentioned first in the book of Job. While still living happily in heaven, he appears with the “sons” of God. He is full of himself and wants to show off by testing God’s servant, Job. Satan is allowed by God to do ruthless and horrendous things to Job; God wanting to prove that Job would stay strong no matter what evil Satan executed upon him.

Later, in Isaiah, we are told how the Devil is sent to Hell. The Devil, Lucifer, is seen as an angel, being prideful and wanting to be like God. So, he is punished and kicked out of heaven and falls to hell. In this, there appears to be a splitting of God.

Now we have two: one good, loving, and benevolent God who lives in heaven, and one evil, malicious, God who lives in Hell. No real physical description of Satan is ever given in the Bible. He is spoken of as evil, the father of lies, disobedience, and bringing all that is wicked. Perhaps this is why it can be said that the Devil has the power to take on many forms.

Unfortunately, one of the ways the church attempted to turn Pagans away from their own beliefs was by deceitfully altering the accepted wisdom of the Old Ways. Disguising the truth to fit within their own needs served to convert, or destroy, those of conflicting faith. The Pagan Gods were transformed, with the Greek God, Pan, who is recognized as horned, hoofed, goat-like, and holding a long, three-pronged fork, or spear, called a Trident, becoming an early version of the Devil.

The Great Horned God recognized as a human male form with antlers, holding snakes, surrounded by creatures of earth, became a more human personification, sometimes with red flesh, a goatee, carrying a pitchfork. These Pagan Gods lent form to a previously un-solidified god of evil, Satan, the most vile, despised God of sin and death.

How bizarre that Satan began his extremely malevolent deeds at the same time the church came into its greatest power on earth, sometime during the thirteenth century. (It should be noted that some believe the source of all-evil is most beautiful. Using a pleasing form, he, or she, can lure innocent souls away into hell.)

Satan is believed to perform dark and evil magick, understanding that this also mean that these mainstream religions are based on magick, with water being turned to wine, foretelling the future, miracles of healing, the dead walking, talking with spirits, and the promise of life everlasting. How strange. If it is done in one religion, it is miraculous. Yet, when these same works of wonder are performed in any other religion, they are viewed as works of some devil. Perhaps it is the fear that others would see, and understand, that power and magick are within us all. This being too much to fear for those who wanted to control a populous.

Interestingly, in examination by religious and nonreligious scholars, it is believed that the entire concept of a Devil, or Satan, is due to an error in the translation of two words, “diabolos” and “daimonion.” In the original Greek and Hebrew, the word diabolos simply meant opponent or adversary, as in an enemy, rival, or foe. Daimonion was one of supreme authority or complete and absolute ownership. Could this be where the idea of a supreme power of evil found its birth? I have to believe that is from where the popular image of Satan came.

It is amazing that, individuals not wishing to take responsibility for their actions often resort to, “the Devil made me do it.” But in those words are frightening reminders of the history of the burning times. It is always easier to blame someone else, another power, or those that are different from you in some way.

Once the pointing starts, the true evil begins to grow. The blaming of others emerges like a forest fire and that fire is hard to put out. At one time, Witches were honored and respected for the knowledge we held in healing and magick. However, we are now still working to reclaim our reputations and show we are not evil.

So, let us repeat again. Witches do not desire, nor have any need, to worship Satan. Witches live right and do what is right because it is right, not out of fear that some big, nasty, red dude with a pitchfork is going to come and get us in the end. Witches are not Satanist. The Devil is not part of our religion, faith, or lives.

We don‘t want him; you can keep him.

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Daily OM for January 19th – As the Day You Were Born

As the Day You Were Born
Being Naked

There is a freedom in being naked that few enjoy because we have been learned to be embarrassed. 

For most of us, it is probably difficult to remember the last time we were comfortably naked for a period of time longer than 20 minutes or so. Many of us are only naked for the length of time it takes us to shower or bathe. We quickly dry off and put our clothes or pajamas on, without taking even a moment to enjoy the feeling of the air against our bare skin. Most of us learned that this was the way to do things from a young age, and we may not have been exposed to another way of thinking, but many cultures regard nudity as completely acceptable, even in somewhat public settings. If you have ever had the good fortune to assimilate yourself to this way of doing things, you may have found the experience liberating enough to allow it to influence the rest of your life.

Perhaps you swam topless in Tahiti or took a sauna in Sweden or Finland. In many American cities, you can find the experience of unselfconscious nudity in a Russian or Korean spa. You may have noticed the lack of vanity in people who are comfortable with their naked bodies. Old ladies and young girls sit side by side, seemingly without concern for how they appear. We see that it is not necessary to hide our imperfections; from cellulite to wrinkles, all is accepted with equilibrium. We can see the beauty and naturalness of our different bodies, accepting ourselves as just right, just as we are. Being naked in front of children can be discussed with your spouse and a plan developed for your family. Children have their way of letting you know when they are ready for a clothes-only family.

If this sounds appealing, you might try carving out some time in your day in which you let yourself be naked. You could delay dressing for 10 minutes after your shower, gradually increasing the time to 20 minutes or half an hour. You might also want to try sleeping naked, a sensual delight that is especially wonderful in hot summer months. If you have a private garden, a naked sunbath might be just the thing. Whatever your choice, finding time to be as naked as the day you were born can awaken feelings of contentment, freedom, and self-love.

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Thought of the Day for January 19th

Gypsy Comments & Graphics
“A smile is an inexpensive way
to improve your looks.”

~ Andy Rooney
(1919-2011)

Thought For The Day

 
~Magickal Graphics~

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