WOTC Extra (b) Spirit Guide Warning Signs


Spirit Guide Warning Signs

Is Your Spirit Guide Really There To Help?:

Every once in a while, someone will manage to contact what they think is a spirit guide – perhaps by way of a Ouija board or other method — and the next thing you know, things are getting weird. If any of the following scenarios seem familiar, then chances are that what you’ve connected to is not a spirit guide at all.

How to know your spirit guide ISN’T really there to help:

You’re the only person the spirit has EVER contacted, and you’re really super special, which is why they’re sharing their message with you and not two hundred other people.

Your guide talks about magical doorways, secret portals to other worlds, or gates that you somehow managed to open, and nobody else ever has.

The spirit doesn’t mind you bragging about it to friends, but gets grumpy whenever anyone questions its existence or purpose. Not only that, it encourages you to isolate yourself from friends who think the spirit guide may well be full of poo.

The spirit claims to be hanging around in order to protect you from some other spirit that you’ve never encountered. Weird stuff happens, and your spirit guide is handily there at all the right times to help you out.

Your spirit guide claims to be from another planet or world that is as yet undiscovered by scientists.

The spirit claims that it needs your help — and only yours — to help it do things like write, talk, etc., and basically wants you to become its instrument of operation. In exchange for this voluntary form of possession, the spirit will impart you with all kinds of nifty new wisdom, that only you will be privy to.

The spirit seems to have no real purpose other than to share information with you, but the information you’re receiving is of no real use, other than to make you believe you are way more enlightened than everyone else.

The spirit informs you that people who love you and care about you are secretly plotting against you, and that the only one who truly understands you is the spirit itself.

All the information you’re being given by the spirit goes against common sense, logic, laws of science and physics, and basic human decency and yet it all makes sense to you now, because you’re the only one special enough for the spirit to talk to.

Author: Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Article published on & owned by About.com

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WOTC Extra (a) How to Find Your Spirit Guide


How to Find Your Spirit Guide

One of the most popular articles we have here at About Pagan/Wiccan is on the Types of Spirit Guides. In that piece, we discuss some of the most popular types of guides you might encounter. Following on the heels of that article, the second most popular piece is one on Spirit Guide Warning Signs – which reviews some of the red flags you should watch for in any entity that claims to be a spirit guide.

Of equal importance, and one that we’ve overlooked for a while, is a discussion on how to actually find and identify spirit guides. Let’s dive in and take a look at some of the most popular methods of finding a spirit guide. Do keep in mind that not all of these will work for everyone every time – it’s a good idea to try different approaches to see which one works best for you. Also, it’s worth noting that not every single person is going to have, find, or meet a spirit guide right off the bat – if you try these methods and nothing happens, then instead of emailing us about it, just give it some time and try again at some point in the future.

1. Intuition

Ever hear that soft little voice in your head that tells you it’s time to do something? Turn right at the stop sign instead of left, make a big change even though it’s scary, or sit back and listen to what people are saying… all of these are things that the little inner voice might be telling you, and yet often, we dismiss it. Some people believe that this intuitive voice is actually indicative of the presence of a spirit guide.

2. Meditation

Some people seek out their spirit guides using meditation. While there are a number of guided meditations you can do to meet spirit guides, available commercially, there’s no need to spend money on a CD or download. Instead, take some time to meditate on your own – be sure to read our Meditation 101 article for basics on getting started. As you begin, make sure you’re clearing your mind out of anything that’s not related to meeting your spirit guide.

For many people, this mediation takes the form of a journey. Imagine yourself walking in a remote place, far from the madding crowd. Perhaps you’re in a forest, or on a mountainside, or out in the plains of the Midwest. As you wander, chances are good that you’ll meet someone along the way – and this person could be your spirit guide. Often, spirit guides are representative archetypes – that means they can be someone who symbolizes other things. For instance, your spirit guide might look like Abraham Lincoln. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Honest Abe is your spirit guide, but that he represents certain things to you – honesty, freedom, perseverence, and so on.

3. Dream Journeys

Similar to meditation, a dream journey – which some people refer to as a vision quest – is a way of finding a spirit guide through the subconscious. However, unlike in meditation, during a dream journey, you’re actually asleep. Lucid dreaming is the practice of dreaming with a purpose – as you go to bed, focus on what you wish to dream about. In this case, focus on meeting a spirit guide. Lucid dreaming can be a little tricky to get the hang of, but once you’ve done it a few times, you’ll be able to pre-plan the basics of where you’re going in your dreams, and what you might be doing there.
Because we tend to forget our dreams fairly quickly, it’s important to write down any messages you get during a dream journey, as well as information about anyone you happen to meet. You can go back later and evaluate it for patterns and meaning.

4. Signs, Symbols & Omens

We often talk here at About Pagan/Wiccan about people looking for symbolism where there isn’t any, and then failing to recognize it when it’s right in front of them. Some spirit guides will make themselves known to you with a series of symbols and signs. These may be very basic ones – perhaps you keep seeing blue things, and you’ve never noticed them before – or they may be more complex.

Many people believe that if you want answers from your spirit guide, you need to ask them a question – don’t just assume that they’re going to spoon feed you information that’s beneficial. Ask a question, or at the very least, ask for a solution to a dilemma, and then watch for signs or omens that provide an answer.

Kiersta is a Pagan who lives in southern Ohio, and she was trying to decide whether or not she should return to college after a ten-year-absence. “I kept weighing the pros and cons, and really couldn’t make a decision because everything was pretty evenly balanced. After about three months of waffling around, I put it out there to my spirit guides. I figured if I was meant to go back and get my nursing degree, I’d get a sign. If I didn’t get one, I’d know it wasn’t the right time. Within a span of about five days, I kept seeing things that made me realize I needed to go – little signs, like college symbols popping up at random places, a song on the radio, a license plate in front of me that said AWSUM RN, stuff like that. The kicker was when I had to take my son to the emergency room for a nasty sports injury, and after seeing how calm I was, the doctor turned to me and said, “You ever think about going into nursing?”

5. Psychic Evaluation/Divination

Ideally, most people find they want to discover their spirit guide on their own. If you’re skilled at divination, you can try a variety of divination methods yourself to see if you can contact a spirit guide – you don’t necessarily have to pay a psychic to do this for you.

However, if none of the above methods are really working out for you, another option is to have a psychic do some divination to help you meet your spirit guide. A talented psychic can often see if you’ve got guides around you – and can help identify them for you. As always, be sure that you’re working with a reputable psychic, and not someone who is simply after your money. If you don’t get an answer within a couple of sessions, then either (a) you don’t currently have a spirit guide, (b) you have one and it’s not ready to make itself known, or (c) you need to find a different psychic.

Remember, some people may not have a spirit guide, and some people have many of them working together or in turns.

If you do have a spirit guide, you may not find them available to you all the time. Often, they only appear when needed – after all, the purpose of a guide is to offer guidance. If you’re doing just fine, there’s a possibility that they’re off helping others who need it more than you do.

Author: Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Article published on & owned by About.com

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Let’s Talk Witch – What Is a Spirit Guide?


What Is a Spirit Guide?

Many people believe they have spirit guides. Some refer to theirs as angels or guardians. Regardless, if you believe you have one, a spirit guide is there simply to guide, not as an entity that you need to give yourself over to. If a spirit guide has a negative influence on your behavior, then chances are good that it’s not a spirit guide at all, but something else entirely.

These are some of the more commonly found types of spirit guides:

1. Ascended Masters:

These are guides often found by people who do energy work, such as Reiki. An ascended master who appears as a spirit guide is often a being that led a physical life and has moved on to a higher spiritual plane — for example, Buddha, Krishna, even Jesus. Ascended masters usually work with collective groups of souls — in other words, if you’ve got an ascended master hanging around you, you’re not the only one he or she is helping. Their primary focus is that of helping all of humanity. It’s not uncommon for an ascended master to have access to Akashic records.

Also referred to as Master Teacher guides.

2. Ancestral Guides:

An ancestral guide is one who can claim some sort of kinship with you, such as your dear Aunt Tillie who died when you were ten. It may also appear in the form of a long-dead ancestor. In some schools of thought, these entities are seen as reincarnated guides, because they are the spirits of someone who loved us during their physical lifetime, or who had some sort of blood connection to our family.

Some people, depending on their religious upbringing, may see these types of guides as guardian angels.

3. Common Spirit Guide, or Teacher Guide:

A typical spirit guide is archetypical, symbolic or representative of something else. For example, you may find your guide appears in the form of a warrior, a storyteller, or a wise woman, and they have appeared to you for a purpose. Typically, that purpose is to teach you and guide you along a particular path. They may also introduce you to other archetypes along your journey, and help out with problem solving, based upon your needs. They are known to provide insight by way of dreams or meditation, and may only hang around as long as you need them, then move on.

4. Animal Guides:

Although many people claim to have animals as spirit guides, often these entities are more companions than anything else. It’s not uncommon for a deceased pet to linger around, keeping you company through the grieving process. In some spiritual traditions, such as various Native American or shamanic paths, a person may have an animal totem, which provides teaching and/or protection.

Author: Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert

Article published on About.com

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WOTC Extra – Intent Is Everything


Intent Is Everything

Intent is important but is an often misused word. Intent and intentions are not the same thing. The road to hell is paved with good intentions after all. Intentions are about what you mean to do; intent is more focused. Intent is what you have when you’ve followed “to know” to its logical conclusion. When all your research is complete and your Will, your Divine True Will is completely clear.

A clear intent is important in any working. If there are muddy areas, parts that are not well thought out and planned for or darker motivations that perhaps you haven’t been entirely honest with yourself about, your working will become a mess of confusion. Personally, it means nothing to me if you have those darker motivations, a balanced person will acknowledge and work with them after all. Just know that if you’re ashamed of them or try to repress them, they’ll have power over you. Your spell workings are yours and yours alone, you do not need anyone else’s approval or good opinion (unless you are initiated into a Traditional Wiccan coven which will make a difference, although, you should be talking to your High Priestess and High Priest before you cast any spells). Be completely and brutally honest with yourself before you begin anything.

Someone once said to me “If your intent is pure then that’s the best you can do”. It struck me then as incredibly naive and terribly fluffy. What we were talking about was dealing with spirits of another culture and the strongest person present was adamant that they had to conform to her personal rules of conduct. Pure intent or not, this was going to end badly without some serious understanding of what those spirits considered to be good and bad manners, forms of address and making an effort to know how they operated in the world. But unfortunately, this type of thinking still seems to prevail. Many of the lighter Wiccan 101 books suggest and some even state this silly idea. If your intent is pure that’s fine, but it is not justification for plain arrogance or laziness. It is not the best you can do, it is a beginning. Do your homework. Do some research. Find out what is required and what you need to know before you begin.

Debbie Dawson, The Common Sense Spell Book

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Let’s Talk Witch – Be Careful What You Wish For Because You Just Might Get It.



Be Careful What You Wish For Because You Just Might Get It.

When you decide you want to cast a spell you need to know what your purpose is. “Oh,” I hear you say. “That’s easy, I want more money, or a job, or the perfect lover.”

Easy is it? Really? So how much money are you wanting? Where do you want it to come from? Are you prepared to pay it back later on? Do you need it or just want it? Have you tried all the mundane channels first?

What seems straight-forward and simple on the surface is usually very different in reality. A successful spell needs to be specific. All points covered. All true motivations for the spell uncovered. And there’s the rub. How often do you know what your true, deep down motivations really are?

To Know of the Four Pillars of Magic is extremely important at this stage of your spell planning. There are many questions that you need to be sure you can answer truthfully.

What is my desired outcome? Exactly what is it that you are casting this spell for? Be specific, you need to be able to clearly visualise the end result. Half-baked, spur of the moment spells have a tendency to turn out differently from what you hoped or expected. Be realistic too, don’t go aiming for something that is ridiculously impossible. You will never sprout physical wings and fly to the moon, but you can travel there in pathworkings.

How will my desired outcome happen? Again, be specific. If you’re wanting money, will that come from a pay rise? Will it come from a gambling win? Will it come from a favourite wealthy old aunt who unexpectedly dies for no apparent reason? All of these things need to be considered, planned for and taken into account. Just like electricity or water, the magic takes the path of least resistance, so the path must be clear and ready for it. A disclaimer tacked on the end of it isn’t going to make up for a lack of research and forethought. How much do you want? Do you have any unpaid bills that you’ve forgotten about that may turn up just after you get your money?

How will I know if my spell is successful? Some results are clear and obvious, but others are not. When you are considering how you want your outcome to occur, it pays to also set a clear indication of success or failure. With a money spell, receiving money from a pay rise or gambling win is a clear result, but what about something like protection or cleansing? How will you know?

What are my true motivations for this? Deep down, where we tend to hide stuff even from ourselves, are you sure of the real reasons behind wanting or feeling you need this outcome? Are you sure that there isn’t some selfish, childish, whiny little voice saying “I want” or perhaps you’re wanting revenge for a slight against you? I’m not saying this needs to stop you from doing the spell but you need to know your true motivations before starting.

If this goes ahead, what are the long-term implications or consequences? The smallest stone thrown into a pond creates ripples that extend outwards from the initial point of impact. You need to consider, very carefully, how achieving your outcome will affect your life and the lives of those around you.

I cast a spell in a moment of anger. I wanted my (then) husband to understand the value of money. He was the stay-at-home parent who seemed to go through all the money I earned faster than I earned it. What I hadn’t considered was that the only way for him to learn the value of money was to have to be responsible for it all himself. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me when I left him 3 weeks later, but it was. He had to learn it after that— he didn’t have me to pay for everything. It was a foolish spell, cast without thought for the implications. I’m not blaming my marriage breakup on it, that had been coming for a while, but I believe that it gave me the final push to go.

Think of the butterfly effect— the theory that a butterfly flapping its wings can create a tropical storm half a world away. Will your spell have that same effect? It sounds like a bit of an exaggeration, but you never know how big the snowball will get when you start it down the hill.

The intention here amongst my mixed metaphors isn’t to frighten you away from casting spells. My intention is for you to be sure that this spell is what you want and that you’re prepared for any consequences before you begin. Too many times I’ve heard stories from those who’ve made a huge magical mistake. There was the lady who performed a love spell. She’d fallen madly in love with a chap who didn’t know she existed. She did a love spell to make him love her and the immediate result was that they were married. Unfortunately, it took 13 years of physical, mental and verbal abuse before she was finally able to tear herself away from him. This kind of thing is one of the many reasons people will tell you to be careful of love spells. Many spells from books or the internet will have some kind of disclaimer on the end. Something like “should my spell cause harm to any, let it dissipate without effect”. Or worse still, “in no way will this spell reverse, or place upon me any curse!”
I find these disclaimers tacked on like an afterthought to be a waste of time. They set you up for failure. If you have done your homework and been specific in all the aforementioned areas there is no need for them. They create the doubt or disbelief that will cause failure.

If your spell is able to reverse or curse you, then again, you haven’t done the work. It’s your own fault and the price you pay for a half-baked planning session. Saying these words will not have any effect on the ‘Powers that Be’ who decide such things (be it natural laws of cause and effect or a Karmic Court).

Debbie Dawson, The Common Sense Spell Book

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Let’s Talk Witch – Binding & Cursing


Binding & Cursing

Binding and cursing are often frowned upon in magical circles. Many people like to believe they’ve been bound or cursed, but the truth is that very few people can do a decent binding or curse and of those who can, even fewer would bother.

In binding, the idea is to prevent another person from doing something. Binding them from doing harm is a popular concept thanks to the 1996 movie The Craft. Binding someone to prevent them from telling a secret is another. It seems simple enough and well-intentioned too. However you must not forget that you will be bound along with them as you are the channel for the magic. You must be absolutely certain that you are right. There can be no doubt. The love spells that focus on a particular person are a binding. You want that one person, so you do a spell to make him or her come to you and love you. Then you’re stuck with them. They might be a total prat, might not be all that they seemed, or as my friend found, they might be violent and abusive. Unfortunately because of your binding, you’ve bound them to you and it’s not that easy to get rid of them.

For best results, a personal link is required for a successful binding. A photograph will suffice but hair, blood, nail clippings, clothing or a signed document work better. A doll or poppet can be stuffed with these, along with herbs or other materials. Baptise the doll with their name, every name for that person that you might know— full name, nicknames, online alter-egos, as many ways of clearly identifying that person that you can come up with. Then bind them with anything you desire; cord, chain, or even a piece of barbed wire. After they’re bound, seal it and deal with it as you will.

Paper cutout figures can work just as well. Write the person’s name in the middle and what you are binding them from and fold it up tightly. It can be secured with paperclips if you like.
Cursing is ill-wishing someone. Again, there is a chance that you will suffer alongside them, so be very careful before trying this.

In the past, I have been somewhat creative in my cursing. I cursed someone to feel compassion for the victims of their actions. For me this wasn’t a problem, I am fairly compassionate by nature, but for him, it was a curse. Another person I’ve used this curse against committed suicide. I struggled with it for a day or two, but after thinking it through and processing things I came to the realisation that I was not responsible for her death. I wanted her to realise what she’d done and take responsibility for the damage she’d caused. How she chose to cope with that was completely on her and from what I hear, the consequences of her actions were catching up with her in other ways that were even less pleasant for her.

If you are going to curse, you first need to be sure that you mean it. You might want someone to have a nasty car crash, but if you aren’t also prepared to see them die slowly and horribly from cancer then you don’t really mean it. Even if you have the power to perform a curse of this magnitude, you need to think about a few things before you consider it. Working with dark energy is one thing. Cursing death is tantamount to murder. It’s no different from the person who chooses to use a gun, only this time your weapon is magic.

A family member of a friend was receiving death threats from someone. While she has cursed him, she has done it in such a way that the curse will only take effect if he crosses a boundary that she’s set around that family member and others that are close to him.

I’ve been accused of curses that I haven’t performed. My partner’s ex-wife believed that I was going to curse her when she started making trouble for him. In all honesty, why would I bother? She was doing it all to herself without me wasting any of my time and energy, what was the point?

Most of the time, if left to their own devices, people that you would consider binding or cursing manage to do it to themselves quite nicely. Some will suddenly realise that they’ve driven everyone away and maybe it was something they’re doing, some won’t. It’s never their fault as they’re perpetual victims. Cursing someone like this will only reinforce their mindset and behaviour. It won’t teach them a lesson so there’s no point wasting your energy.

There’s one last thing I want to say on this topic. In the Craft there is a saying, “if you can’t curse, you can’t heal”. Effectively what this means is that you need to destroy the illness in order for the healing to begin. You need to be balanced and work with both sides.

—Debbie Dawson, The Common Sense Spell Book

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Other Ways to Enhance Energy Practice

Witchy Comments & Graphics

Other Ways to Enhance Energy Practice

Try creating increasingly more complicated shapes with the energy. Stars. Cubes. Spirals.

Remember, even when using divine or earth energy, personal energy is still used to help steady and direct it. It’s important that we maintain energy and health. Treat your body as well as you would treat any tool that is sacred and spiritual.

Beyond just sensing and shaping energy, feel and hear it. Understanding and being aware of the energy around will give us information that we can use. Keep track of when you feel a change or shift in the energy around you and what happen before during or after. Eventually, you may find a pattern.

Ashlyn Hawthorne, Wiccan Basics: Solitary Suburban Pagan Guide

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Witchy Comments & Graphics


After a few attempts at drawing and grounding energy, we have a better idea of the similarities and differences, as well as how we interact with each type of energy. Now, we need to practice shaping and moving it.

Start by pulling personal energy into your dominant hand. Then hold your hands palms facing each other, about three inches apart. Send the energy from the dominant hand and receiving it with the non-dominant hand. Allow it to flow back into your center creating a loop of energy. Trying varying the distance between your hands. Try to decrease the energy to a trickle. Try to dial it up a little more than you have before if you feel confident controlling it.

Center and stabilize the energy.

Try the same exercises sending the energy with your non-dominant hand and receiving it with you dominant one.

After a few sessions of sending and receiving, it’s time to try shaping and molding the energy.

Pull personal energy into your dominant hand, holding it palm facing non-dominant hand. Instead of receiving it this time, use your hands to shape the energy into a ball. Expand it or contract it. Spin it. Toss it from hand to hand. When you’re done, allow the energy to be absorbed, centered and stabilized. Next time, try creating a square or other simple shape with the energy. Then try it with the other two types of energy.

Once you feel confident, try various combinations of energies. Pull earth energy and allow it to pool with your personal energy before sending it into your hand. When done with the exercises, do the same but with divine energy. Pull both earth and divine energy and have them both flow into your hand to work, bypassing your personal energy as much as possible. Finally, pull both divine and earth energy and let it mingle with your personal energy before practicing.

Ashlyn Hawthorne, Wiccan Basics: Solitary Suburban Pagan Guide

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