Witchcraft

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 – Drawing Down Lunar Energy


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Drawing Down Lunar Energy

Drawing down the moon means that you are tapping into the energy of lunar power and using it to fill yourself, fill an object, or power a spell. (This is the same process used in drawing down the Sun). The practice of drawing down the moon is remarkably straightforward: Center and ground, place yourself into a receptive state by clearing your mind, establish a connection with the luminary (by line of sight or by visualization), and allow the energy to flow. Think of it as the reverse of the grounding process. You connect up instead of down, and then allow the energy to flow into you rather than reaching down and pulling the energy of the earth up.

In drawing down the moon, you allow your mind and spirit to become suffused with the primordial energies associated with the moon, such as feminine energy, psychic energy, intuitive energy, and so forth.

Drawing down the moon does not have to be done only when the moon is full. If you perform the rite at a specific point during the phase, you are accessing the energy associated with that phase. For example, drawing down the energy of the crescent moon can help empower a ritual associated with new beginnings. Drawing down the energy of the waning or dark moon can help with defense or issues associated with justice.

Men are not excluded from drawing down the moon, nor are women excluded from drawing down the sun. A drawing has nothing to do with your gender or the gender or the luminary (luminaries are genderless, being balls of flaming gas or a chunk of rock that reflects sunlight). Needlessly limiting yourself to drawing one type of energy denies you the benefits of working with the energy of the other luminary.

Last word, experiment and take careful notes on your experience and observations.

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 – Drawing Down and Aspecting Deities


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Drawing Down and Aspecting Deities

This article looks at aspecting deities and drawing down lunar energy. Learn how to safely invoke the essence of a deity into your own body for a variety of purposes, such as divination, guidance, communion, and others.

The rite of drawing down the moon can be overwhelming, and takes many Wiccans years before they feel strong or confident enough to attempt it. The rite can seem basic, but each rite in practice involves a lot of control and can be extremely energy-draining. Drawing down the moon is one of the more experiential rites within Wicca. As with the mysteries, you must attempt it and actually experience it before gaining a deeper understanding of what it is and why it is done. Many Wiccans are stymied by the number of unexplained actions called for within the rite. The fact that there are two different sorts of rites generally referred to as drawing down the moon also confuses the issue.

Drawing down is a very specific sort of ritual whose purpose tends to confuse many Wiccans.

Technically, drawing down refers to taking in the energy of the moon or the sun. Many people believe this to mean the assumption of Goddess or God energy at the same time. However, this is not true; an assumption like this conflates the symbol (the luminary) with the signified (the deity). When we conduct an esbat ritual, for example, we are not worshiping the moon itself—we are honoring the moon as a symbol of the Goddess in one of her aspects. When the moon’s energy is drawn down for magic, the Goddess does not automatically come with it.

The basic misunderstanding of the phrase “drawing down the moon” arises from some Wiccans using this technique as part of the invocation of the actual essence of the Goddess into the body of the priestess. This is a method of aspecting. In this situation, there is often a short invocation spoken by the High Priest or whoever is helping the priestess to aspect the Goddess, which helps the priestess open herself to the essence of the Goddess. When filled with that essence, the priestess will often speak. Sometimes she will deliver the standard Charge of the Goddess; other times she will speak extemporaneously. In Gardnerian Wicca, aspecting in this fashion is done at every ritual to have the Goddess physically present at all times. In this kind of drawing down the moon, the aspecting is performed using the drawing down of the moon’s energy as a steppingstone toward the energy of the deity.

It is essential that you know and understand which form of drawing down the moon you are going to undertake before you begin. As with all rites and ritual you should have a clearly defined goal to visualize. Decide beforehand if you are going to fill yourself with lunar energy, or if you will aspect the Goddess in general or as a specific god-form.

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

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WOTC Extra – Ethics of the Green Witch Path


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Ethics of the Green Witch Path

In any path related to the expression of spirituality, the concept of ethics is important. Interestingly enough, there are no ethical or moral rules associated with the green witch path other than those that the practitioner already possesses.

Why are there no ethical rules set out in the green witch practice? First of all, the practice is so very personal that to create an overarching ethical system would exclude some practitioners or force them to change who they are. Green witchcraft isn’t about forcing an individual to change; it’s about choosing to harmonize one’s own life with the energy of nature. Second, the green witch is so in tune with her surroundings that a set of ethical strictures is unnecessary. Knowing yourself to be a part of a greater whole makes it difficult to act against that whole. Working with the earth means that to act against it would be counterproductive, and that includes acting against a member of the earth’s extended energy, such as other people, animals, plants, and so forth. It is difficult to act unethically when you understand how everyone and everything is affected by the negativity of such an action.

With the well-tuned awareness that the green witch strives to possess comes a knowledge of who and what will be affected by her actions and choices. With this understanding, and the sense of responsibility and guardianship for life that she also possesses, a further focus on ethics is unnecessary. Nature is your mother, your father, and your best friend. It makes no sense to harm your kin or friends intentionally. Think of the love and respect you have for the earth. Extend that regard to all the creatures that make up the natural world. Humans, animals, plants, trees—they are all part of nature. Naturally, you treat them with the same respect with which you treat the earth herself.

Essentially, if you love and respect the world around you, it is impossible to abuse it. The more empathy and sympathy you have for your surroundings, the better you will treat them. This is tied into the basic Golden Rule found in several religions. It’s ethical reciprocity: if you treat those around you with courtesy, they will extend the same to you. What you put out into the world returns to you, and that goes for thoughts, acts, and energy. By loving and respecting the natural world, we will earn the love and respect of the natural world in return.

Source:
The Way Of The Green Witch: Rituals, Spells, And Practices to Bring You Back to Nature
Arin Murphy-Hiscock

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