Wicca

WOTC Extra – Constructing Your Own Inner Temple


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Constructing Your Own Inner Temple

 

Needless to say working with so many Archetypas, it only stands to reason you will need a safe place to do so. An inner temple is a great place to begin and work…….

Some occult traditions have a very formal of constructing inner or astral temples. This methos is informal and works well for a solitary practitioner. Keep in mind that this is only the first of several meditations wherein you will be constructing your inner temple. Do not rush through or attempt to cram as much as possible into the session. Focus on exploring what you find first, and not on constructing an elaborate temple space in one shot. First of all, you’ll wear yourself out, and second of all, you won’t be investing enough personal energy into your construct to give it any permanence and stability.

MATERIALS:

An incense you associate with meditation, or something light such as frankincense (do not use an incense such as myrrh or dragon’s blood—their scents are too heavy and their energies may have negative effects on what you are doing) Straight-backed meditation chair (optional)

1. Prepare yourself as you would for ritual, by cleansing your body and clearing your mind. Prepare your physical ritual space in your usual fashion.
2. Cast a formal circle, call all four elements to witness, and invoke your customary form of the Goddess and/or God. To ease your work, you may wish to light your incense now.
3. When you have finished the ritual opening, take a moment to center yourself again, and then sit down. As when you meditate, a straight-backed chair is ideal. It is best not to lie down during this working meditation. Begin by taking a few slow, deep breaths to calm your body and mind.
4. Visualize yourself walking along a path. It may be a city road or a forest trail; either way, this path does not have other paths branching off from it. As you walk this path, keep your intent of finding your inner temple clearly in your mind.
5. Eventually the path will end at a door or a gate of some kind. This door may be formally constructed and set in a wall, or it may be something as simple as a low branch or a rock set in the opening of a cave. This doorway cannot be passed by anyone but you. Lay your hand upon the door, and it will open, for you are the key to unlock it and gain access to your inner temple. No one else will ever be able to enter this space without your invitation.
6. Step through the doorway into the space beyond. Look around you. The space may already have a rough form, as it is responding to your higher self. Take the time to explore thoroughly. If something seems vague, concentrate on it until it becomes clear. Handle those objects you can touch; breathe deeply and discern what odors the temple possesses. Listen closely to the ambient noise. All these observations allow you to interact with the temple on various levels, making it more real to you. Ask yourself the following questions to help you get acquainted with the temple space and to further connect it with your own energy.

• What are the walls made of? What color are they?
• What does the floor look like? Is there a covering of some kind?
• What does the ceiling look like?
• Where does the light come from? What sort of illumination does it cast?
• What are the representations of the four elements? Where are they?
• What is the temperature?
• What are the sounds?
• What is on the walls?

7. There will likely already be an altar somewhere in the room. Do not be concerned if it does not correspond to where you first think the altar should be. Do not be concerned if the four elements do not reflect your accustomed cardinal directions. If there is no altar, create one in the center of the space; this will be your main ritual area. Your inner temple is a place where you can set up your workspace any way you please; however, a central altar is a very adaptable setup.
8. There may be doors in this temple room. If there are, do not go through them—stay in this central room for now. It is essential to establish a strong link with your main temple room before you begin to explore or create other areas of the complex.
9. Once you know what is in the central room, take a moment or two to center again. Then leave, closing the door behind you and placing your hand upon it to lock it once again. Retrace your steps along the path until you are ready to return to your physical space.
10. Write down the impression you received while exploring your inner temple, along with as many details as you can remember. Sketch out a floor plan. Make a list of what you know to be there. Then look at your list and consider what else you wish to add.

After you’ve completed this first exercise, make note of your dreams for the next couple of nights. You may find that you visit your inner temple in your dreams now that you have actively recognized it. If you meditate, you may discover that you default to this temple space when you visualize yourself elsewhere. Do not be concerned about these appearances of the inner temple; this means that your inner temple is taking root in your subconscious and you are forming an excellent link with it.

Wait for at least three days before repeating the ritual to return to your inner temple. Again, explore the temple space. Some of what you wished to add may have appeared in your absence. If you wish to intentionally add something, choose one object to add at a time, and be detailed and focused when you create it through this visualization. Again, handle each object you see or add; touch it, smell it, listen to it. Step back and look at it from different angles, and at how it fits into the general layout of where you found it. Does the object thematically match the rest of the room, or does it stand out in some way?

When you feel comfortable, begin to experiment with performing ritual in your inner temple space. Ritual in your inner temple is a different experience from regular ritual; it is a very focused undertaking requiring stamina and energy. If you feel tired, don’t try it yet. Essentially, performing ritual in your inner temple means that you are doing the whole ritual inside your head, handling the same amount of energy you would normally handle in your physical circle. Never make the mistake of thinking that working completely in your mind or on the astral plane is “easy.” It is even more challenging than physically doing ritual. The immense amount of concentration involved is staggering, and if you are unprepared or fatigued you can seriously harm yourself.

When you do ritual in your inner temple, be sure that you are well grounded and that you have access to an energy source, such as the earth or the sky. Don’t make the error of using only your own energy.

At first, do your entire ritual sequence, from cleansing and purifying through your circle, your invocations, your central ritual working, and the correct ritual closing. As time goes on and you become more proficient at working in your inner temple, you may wish to permanently consecrate the space so that you will not have to create sacred space or raise a circle every time unless you wish to as part of your formal ritual structure.

Working in your inner temple can be a very rewarding experience. It certainly refines your use of energy, and it forces you to evolve your skills to match the requirements of the exercise. In a space such as this, working with any of the archetypes mentioned earlier, or engaging in any of the techniques such as aspecting or channeling, can be made safer, and a deeper experience. Remember to keep detailed notes in your spiritual journal; your inner temple experiences will have much to teach you when you look back over your progress.

Solitary Wicca For Life: Complete Guide to Mastering the Craft on Your Own
Arin Murphy-Hiscock

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Example # 3 of Different Archetypes – Working With the Shadow Self


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Working With the Shadow Self

 

Complementary to the higher self is the shadow self. The shadow self represents all the things about yourself that you dislike or repress—those aspects and traits that you wish to deny. The shadow self is not the evil part of you; remember, Wiccans embrace both light and dark as essential complements.

Ironically the more you repress your shadow self, the more control it wields over you and your life. It will strive to emerge, either through explosions of anger or sly insinuation into innocent words and action. It may manifest as restless energy, leading you to pace behind the figurative bars of the cage of your life. At times, the dark side of your spirit is the side you need to explore to get things done or work through an obstacle. Acceptance and understanding are essential to proper handling of your shadow self. You cannot excise it from your soul; not only is that impossible, but it’s undesirable in the extreme. Your shadow self provides necessary insight and support to the bright side of your spirit.

The dark side does not wish to rule anymore than the bright side of your soul wishes to reign supreme; they desire to coexist, fully accepted.

Solitary Wicca For Life: Complete Guide to Mastering the Craft on Your Own
Arin Murphy-Hiscock

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Example # 2 of Different Archetypes – Working With The Higher Self


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Working With The Higher Self

 

There is a portion of the spirit or soul responsible for everyone’s consciousness termed the “higher self” in Western occult thought. This higher self is sometimes described as the part of us that is of the gods, or the part that is connected to the collective consciousness. Wiccans believe that our physical bodies are also of the gods, but that the higher self is unique because it embodies divine energy and can access universal knowledge.

The higher self is what many people believe communicates or informs us when we meditate, when we use such divination tools as the Tarot, when we communicate with spirits via talking boards or spirit boards, or when we engage in automatic writing.

Before you ask a question, elsewhere, take it to your higher self. You know more than you think you do. You can invoke your higher self much as you invoke a deity or a guide.

Solitary Wicca For Life: Complete Guide to Mastering the Craft on Your Own
Arin Murphy-Hiscock

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Example # 1 of Different Archetypes – Working With Dark Archetypes


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Working With Dark Archetypes

 

One of the wonderful things about Wicca is that it does not assign a positive or negative dichotomy to the light and dark pairing that so many other religions do. Wiccans understand that light and dark are both necessary for the world to operate, and that a balance is constantly in motion. Dark defines light, just as light casts shadow to create dark.

No matter how comfortable Wiccans are with the concept of darkness, when it comes right down to working with dark deities, many shy away. They do not do so necessarily out of fear, but from a sense of respect and self-preservation: working with dark deities is usually a rough ride. This is not to say that working with bright deities is easy; bright deities are just as likely as dark deities to take your life firmly in hand and reshape it to what it should be. It’s simply that bright deities have gained a burnished appeal over time and are usually seen as gentler than the dark deities.

The amount of whitewashing and projected antiseptic illusions that cloak the bright deities often mislead people to think the bright deities are all sweetness and light. Most deities have a blend of dark and bright elements, and over time humanity has chosen to privilege one aspect over the other. Hecate was once a Thracian maiden goddess who cared for women in childbirth, and who carried a torch to guide those who needed direction. As she was absorbed into the Greek and Roman pantheons and their spiritual needs and outlook evolved, she became a crone goddess of terrifying curses and revenge, keeper of the ghosts and spirits of the murdered souls in the underworld. Brigid, pan-Celtic goddess of inspiration, has also been a goddess of defense and warcraft, a metalworker capable of crafting spears and swords for her people.

Dark is not the absence of light; by now you know that light does not equal good and beautiful and right, and dark does not equal evil or immoral, or even amoral. Dark means embracing the shadowed aspects of your personality and soul. This understanding should be incorporated into your practice.

Source

Solitary Wicca For Life: Complete Guide to Mastering the Craft on Your Own
Arin Murphy-Hiscock

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Let’s Talk Witch – Spiritual Archetypes


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Spiritual Archetypes

 

There are several levels of entities encountered in Wicca and Western occult work. The ones most Wiccans think of immediately are, of course, the Goddess and the God, whether known by the general titles of the Lady and the Lord or by specific names. There are more entities, however, and these are various manifestations of archetypal power and essence in diverse forms:

• The elements are invoked in almost every Wiccan ritual, and have associated archetypal spirits.

• Power animals and totems are often used by Wiccans in pathworking exercises.

• Ancestors are honored and invoked as repositories of knowledge and wisdom.

• Some traditions of Wicca and Western occult traditions espouse the concept of the higher self, that part of the astral body/spiritual form that is directly connected to the Divine.

All these and more are worth exploring as you advance in your practice of Wicca, both for the knowledge it can provide and for the depth and range of experience it can add to your practice.

Source:

Solitary Wicca For Life: Complete Guide to Mastering the Craft on Your Own
Arin Murphy-Hiscock

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WOTC Extra – How to get over the “Incovenience Factor,” enlist the aid of a Buddy!


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WHY HAVING A BUDDY HELPS WITH YOUR SPIRITUAL PRACTICE

 

Having taught hundreds of students over the last 30 years, we have observed that students who undertake the study of magic or witchcraft with friends, partners, or significant others generally have much better results.

Therefore, before you commence to build your spiritual practice we suggest that you attempt to find a “buddy” to work with. A buddy can help you stay on track, remind you of the inconvenience factor, and trade experiences with you (especially when you feel that the rituals or spells “are not working”).

Your buddy can also help you “see” some effects of magic or witchcraft in your life. We all have blind spots , and buddies can help us see through them. For instance, many people can see when something “good” happens in their lives, but fail to see when a negative influence has left their lives.

For instance, we often counsel people about health care. We often ask them to tell us if anything has changed or improved with their
health after we have completed a treatment regimen. Many times the person says, “No, nothing has changed.” But when we ask them whether they still have headaches or back pain, they suddenly become aware of the fact that the pain is gone. We often fail to notice when pain leaves our lives. Pain or negative events are usually noticeable only when they are present. So be sure to have your buddy help you check for anything negative that might have left your life.

It is easy, especially in the beginning of a spiritual practice, to become overwhelmed with the daily tasks of life and forget to do your spells and rituals. Having one or more partners to check with throughout the week will help you remember that you are a practitioner engaged in paying into your spiritual practice. Plus, having partners makes this study much more engaging and fun!

Source:
Learn How to Do Witchcraft Rituals and Spells with Your Bare Hands
Alan G. Joel

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Let’s Talk Witch – What is the “Inconvenience Factor” In Magick?


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WHAT IS THE “INCONVENIENCE FACTOR”?

It has been our observation, through the teaching of many classes, that the student of magic and witchcraft inevitably comes up against the “inconvenience factor” when beginning to study this material. In other words, at some point early in your training, it is likely that taking the time to do your rituals and spells will be highly inconvenient. The inconvenience factor will require you to make many small and some radical changes in your life to make room in your life for this new spiritual practice.

For some people, the inconvenience factor manifests in the inability to study because of a sudden bout of phone calls, relatives unexpectedly coming to visit, work hours becoming radically increased, or unexpected travel. For others, family or career demands suddenly become “too much” and “something must give.” For others, some drastic event occurs in their life.

All those who have pushed through the inconvenience factor and stayed the course have found their
lives radically improved, no matter the temporarily inconvenient conditions in which they find themselves.

You will have to make the choice of which is more important— your new spiritual practice or convenience. In making your choice, remember this : while the practice of magic and witchcraft may be highly inconvenient in the beginning, when applied properly, it can greatly reduce the level of struggle and increase the level of joy in your life in the long run.

At the beginning of your journey as a practitioner you will be able to straddle the two worlds, mundane and magical, sometimes choosing mundane convenience and other times choosing your practice. However, as you progress in your
studies, your intention will tend to grow in strength and force. The result is that the two worlds will diverge more and more. At some point, you will need to make a choice between the two worlds— magical or mundane? You will know when you have reached that point… and then it will be up to you to make your decision.

We want to leave you with one final note on your decision regarding the inconvenience factor. Based on the experience of teaching students over the last 30 years, we have found that for almost every student there is a specific “window of opportunity” during which a spiritual practice is most easily integrated into daily life. The inconvenience factor continues to be present, but when a student chooses to forge ahead with his or her spiritual studies, the inconvenience factor tends to disappear more quickly.

Those students who choose the convenience of ordinary life— no doubt thinking that they will return to the development of their spiritual practice later— find that when they try to return to their spiritual practice, the “window of opportunity” is closed. While it is still possible for these students to develop a spiritual practice, the resistance is much greater than before.

As a word to the wise, when you come to the point at which you need to make a decision about whether to move forward with your spiritual practice or attend to mundane life issues, think about the “window of opportunity” before you make your choice.

Source:
Learn How to Do Witchcraft Rituals and Spells with Your Bare Hands
Alan G. Joel

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Let’s Talk Witch – Concerning Initiation


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Concerning Initiation

Most shamanic and magical religions utilize some sort of initiation ceremony whereby an outsider becomes a recognized member of the religion, society, group or coven. Such rites also mark the new direction which the initiate’s life is taking.

Much has been made, publicly and privately, of Wiccan initiations. Each Wiccan tradition uses their own initiation ceremonies, which may or may not be recognized by other Wiccans. On one point, however, most initiates agree: a person can be a Wiccan only if she or he has received such an initiation.

This brings up an interesting question: Who initiated the first Wiccan? Most initiation ceremonies are nothing more than rites marking the acceptance of the person into a coven, and her or his dedication to the Goddess and God. Sometimes “power is passed” between the initiator and neophyte as well.

To a non-Wiccan, the initiation might seem to be a rite of conversion. This isn’t the case. Wicca has no need for such rites. We don’t condemn the deities with which we may have attuned before practicing Wicca, nor need we turn our backs on them.

The initiation ceremony (or ceremonies, since in many groups three successive rites are performed) is held to be of utmost importance to those Wiccan groups still practicing ritual secrecy. Surely anyone entering such a group should undergo an initiation, part of which consists of swearing never to reveal their secrets. This makes sense, and is a part of many coven initiations. But it isn’t the essence of initiation.

Many people have told me that they desperately need to undergo Wiccan initiation. They seem to believe that one cannot practice Wicca without this stamp of approval. If you’ve read this far, you know that such isn’t the case.

Wicca has been, up until the past decade or so, a closed religion, but no more. The inner components of Wicca are available to anyone who can read and has the proper wit to understand the material. Wicca’s only secrets are its individual ritual forms, spells, names of deities and so on.

This needn’t bother you. For every secret Wiccan ritual or Goddess name there are dozens (if not hundreds) of others published and readily available. At this moment, more Wiccan information has been released than ever before. While it once may have been a secret religion, today Wicca is a religion with few secrets.

Still, many cling to the idea of the necessity of initiation, probably thinking that with this magical act they’ll be granted the secrets of the
universe and untold power. To make things worse, some particularly narrow-minded Wiccans say that the Goddess and God won’t listen to anyone who isn’t an athame-carrying member of a coven. Many would-be Wiccans believe this.

It doesn’t work this way.

True initiation isn’t a rite performed by one human being upon another. Even if you accept the concept that the initiator is suffused with deity during initiation, it’s still just a ritual.

Initiation is a process, gradual or instantaneous, of the individual’s attunement with the Goddess and God. Many of the Wicca readily admit that the ritual initiation is the outer form only. True initiation will often occur weeks or months later,
or prior to, the physical ritual.

Since this is so, “real” Wiccan initiation may take place years before the student contacts a Wiccan coven or teacher. Is this initiation less effective or less genuine because the person hasn’t gone through a formal ritual at the hands of another human being? Of course not.

Rest assured, it’s quite possible to experience a true Wiccan initiation without ever meeting another soul involved in the religion. You may even be unaware of it. Your life may gradually shift in focus until you realize that you notice the birds and clouds. You may gaze at the Moon on lonely nights and talk to plants and animals. Sunset might bring a time of quiet contemplation.

Or you may change as the seasons change, adapting your body’s energies to match those of the natural world around you. The Goddess and God may sing in your thoughts, and you may perform rituals before actually realizing what you’re doing.

When the Old Ways have become a part of your life and your relationship with the Goddess and God is strong, when you have gathered your tools and performed the rites and magic out of joy, you are truly of the spirit and can rightly call yourself “Wiccan.”

Finally words, Some say, “Only a Wiccan can make a Wiccan.” I say only the Goddess and God can make a Wiccan.

Who’s better qualified?

 

Source:
Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner
Scott Cunningham.

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