Posts Tagged With: Catholicism

Wishing All Our Family & Friends A Very Warm & Blessed Tuesday!

Witchy Comments & Graphics

I invoke and welcome you
Element of the Earth
And honor your presence
With these symbols of your power
You who rule midnight, and winter, and the north
The body and all that grows
Bless my physical self
That I might be healthy and strong
And gift me with prosperity
That I too might grow and thrive
Ground and sustain me
With your solid presence under my feet
And watch over me as I walk my path.
 

So Mote It Be.

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A Very Blessed & Happy Thursday To You & Yours!

She’s Been Waiting

She’s been waiting
She’s been waiting, waiting.
She’s been waiting so long.
She’s been waiting for her children
To remember, to return.

Blessed be, and blessed are,
The lovers of the lady.
Blessed be, and blessed are,
The mother, maiden, crone.
Blessed be, and blessed are,
The ones who dance together.
Blessed be, and blessed are,
The ones who dance alone.

She’s been waiting, waiting.
She’s been waiting so long.
She’s been waiting for her children
To remember, to return.

Blessed be, and blessed are,
The ones who work in silence.
Blessed be, and blessed are,
The ones who shout and scream.
Blessed be, and blessed are,
The movers and the changes.
Blessed be, and blessed are,
The dreamers and the dream.

She’s been waiting, waiting.
She’s been waiting so long.
She’s been waiting for her children
To remember, to return.

- Paula Walowitz


 

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Witches Do It In A Magical Circle

Witches Do It In A Magical Circle

Author:   Rhys Chisnall   

Sacred space is a space that is ‘experienced or seen as’ sacred but remember, this need not mean it has any extra unseen property. In many religions, it is a permanent structure such as a church, a mosque, a druid’s grove or a temple. The place is seen as sacred, as numinous and special suitable and worthy of where the Divine can be experienced. These places are often made sacred through certain rites and ritual… a form of magic, which to my mind is the manipulation of meaning to transform phenomenal reality. The rites are the manipulation of meaning which leads to ‘experiencing as’ the church as sacred (even to those who never partook in the original rituals) and if that is not the transformation of phenomenal reality I don’t know what is.

Witchcraft differs from other religious and spiritual traditions in that it does not have any permanent sacred spaces. There are no permanent temples in the initiatory Craft perhaps because it is a spiritual tradition where the focus of the experience of the Divine is through life and death, where there is no dualism between the sacred and the profane, therefore there is no need for a permanent temple. In the Craft the sacred space is declared at every meeting, wherever and whenever the coven meets.

This sacred space is declared when the circle is cast by the High Priestess with her athame and is both psychological and mythological in character. It is psychological, firstly, as it is visualised by and ‘felt by’ the participants as the sphere is formed about them. It is ‘experienced as’ by the mind through an act of imagination. Secondly, the setting up of the sacred space in the Craft prepares the Witches for the rite in which they are to participate. For example a church is laid out to either assault the senses such as in the stain glass, incense, bells, candles, crucifixes and robes of the priest in Catholicism, or the in the stark whitewash and lack of symbolism of the Methodists. The symbolism, the bells and smells of the Catholic or the austerity stemming from the suspicion of idolatry of the Protestant both work to put the worshipper into a worshipful and receptive state of mind.

Likewise the words, gestures, incense, candle light and nudity involved in the casting of the circle puts the Witches into the state of mind where magic (the manipulation of meaning to transform phenomenal reality) can occur. If the same method of casting is used each time (as in Initiatory Craft) , then expectation and classical conditioning (like Pavlov’s dogs) combine to create the appropriate state of mind with little effort on the part of the Witch. Vivianne Crowley (1989) tells us of one priestess who says something like, “I only need to hear the swish of a broom and I am in an altered state of consciousness”. I can confirm from experience that that this is certainly the case. During the set up of our rituals and the casting of the circle, after twelve years of being with the same coven, I automatically slip into ritual consciousness.

The circle is also mythological and is full of symbolism. The circle can relate to four of the classical elements, air, fire, water and earth. It can relate, like the phases of the moon and the wheel of the year to the stages of life such as youth, maturity, old age and death. To my mind this means it can relate to stages in the hero’s journey, the mono-myth described by Professor Joseph Campbell in his book, The Hero with a Thousand faces. This is the journey of the mystic, who goes out into the metaphorical wilderness, fairy land, the world of adventure. It is here that the mystic has their adventure/experience, attaining gnosis (spiritual knowledge) , before returning to everyday life where they have to integrate what they have learnt. The failed hero or mystic is not able to do this and is stuck in the adventure world and so perishes. The circle can also be symbolic of the changing seasons of the year, spring, summer, autumn, and winter, which of course, underpin the myths of the Craft.

The circle, mythologically speaking, is out of time. It is also all time, all the seasons, all the stages of life, all parts of the hero’s quest and so paradoxically, which can happen in myth, is all time and at the same time it is out of time. The circle is experienced as the mythological every-when, fairy land and eternity where the tick, tick, tick of time does not pass; there is no past, present or future. Mythologically speaking, this is the mystical state. It is in this space were we experience mythologically, rather than logically. We participate in mythology, finding meaning that allows us to engage with the mysteries.

It acts as a mythological circle that psychologically contains the emotion and meaning. It represents the keeping away of thoughts and feeling not required for the ritual. These are the daily round of duties and thoughts, which might be stresses about work, money, or whether we have left the cooker on. They are outside the psychological circle and we within the ritual are on the inside. It is a psychological and mythological barrier between the emotions, thoughts and meaning necessary for the job at hand, and those that would distract us from our purpose. So the circle acts as a boundary and protection of meaning containing the emotional power we raise.

To conclude it is both a mythological space where we engage with and act mythologically and a psychological boundary. However, while this requires imagination, visualisation and concentration; it is not the same thing as play-acting. Rather it is ‘seeing as’, making and experiencing as profound meaning rather than simply make believe. This meaning can be allegorical but it is also archetypal in that it related to our deep feelings that are invoked by what is fundamentally important in life.

_______________________________________

Footnotes:
Campbell, J, (1993) , The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Fortana Press
Crowley, V., (1989) , Wicca: The Old Religion in the New Age, Aquarian Press

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Celebrating Spirituality 365 Days A Year – Guy Fawkes Night

magick89

November 5th

Guy Fawkes Night

Guy Fawkes Night is one of the most widespread and thriving of all the British holidays and one that was decreed by an act of Parliament. It was in the early hours of November 5, 1605, that Guy Fawkes was arrested. He had hidden 36 barrels of gunpowder in the cellar of Parliament and planned to blow it up that day, an act that would have wiped out the entire government of England–clearing the way for a Roman Catholic coup.

There are several theories, one of which claims that the gunpowder plot was covertly encouraged by an administration anxious to discredit its Catholic opponents. Whatever the truth, the act sparked a nationwide explosion of patriotism and Protestant enthusiasm. The commemoration has become a night replete with bonfires, beer-drinking, fireworks and bands of children begging for money. Topping off the evening’s festivities, effigies of Guy Fawkes are tossed onto the bonfires.

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Calendar of the Moon for October 22nd

Calendar of the Moon

22 Gort/Puanepsion

Apaturia Day I: Dorpia

Colors: White, Blue, Black.
Elements: All.
Altar: Upon a triple cloth of white, blue, and black place the symbols of the Order of the Horae.
Offerings: The three days of the Apaturia are the official get-together of all the houses of the Order of the Horae. One House is chosen, and they host all the others, who travel from far away to be there for these three days. The offering is hospitality, and the gifting of the hosts.
Daily Meal: A feast of any correct foods of the harvest, prepared for all.

Dorpia Invocation

Call: Hail, sisters and brothers of our Order!
Response: Hail to all who gather here today!
Call: Hail to the Gods who watch over us…
Response: May they look upon us with favor!
Call: Hail to Eunomia, Lady of Rules…
Response: Hora of the Upraised Hand!
Call: Your rules bind us hard and strong…
Response: Yet we take these chains willingly upon us.
Call: Hail to Dike, Lady of Justice…
Response: Hora of the Even Hand!
Call: The cold of your blade divides the just from the unjust…
Response: Yet we take its edge with grace.
Call: Hail Irene, Lady of Peace…
Response: Hora of the Open Hand!
Call: Some may scorn you as weak and tedious…
Response: But we welcome you with open hearts!
Call: Hail to the Handmaidens who weave frith in the sky!
Response: May they watch over us all.
Call: Hail to the Masters of the Twelve Principles!
Response: May they guide us when our path falls into darkness.
Call: Honored be all the souls who stand here today.
Response: May we all stand together as kith and kind.
Call: May we all learn from each others’ lives.
Response: For none of us has nothing to learn, or nothing yet to teach.
Call: Hail to the Gods of east and west, of north and south!
Response: Hail to all the Powers above and below!

Song: We the Dead

[Pagan Book of Hours]

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Goddess Grant Me Patience

Wednesday Images

Goddess, grant me patience

Help me to have tolerance

For the flaws of others

And my own imperfections

Let me wait calmly

For those things that cannot be rushed

And maintain serenity

In the face of adversity

May my temper be even

And my words kind

As I am a reflection of your grace

So let me be patient

So Mote It Be.

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Celebrating All Spirituality 365 Days A Year – Pilgrimage to Saut d’ Eau Waterfall

July 16th

Pilgrimage to Saut d’ Eau Waterfall

On July 16th, the Catholic holy day dedicated to the Virgin Mary (the Haitian Erzulie Freda), pilgrims from all over Haiti arrive at the Waterfalls of Saut d’ Eau near Ville Bonheur to bathe in the blessed waters. Along the way, they tie pink fibbonns to the trees closest to the falls in hobor of the  Goddessl Offerings of food are left in hopes that Erzulie will brnig good luck and charm to each participant.

Erzulie, or Ezile Freda, is the Goddess of love and is connected with all aspects of beauty. She adores flowers, jewelry, rich clothing and fine perfumes. She is envisioned as a light-skinned mulatto and considered to be the epitome of charm. Colors for Erzulie are pink, yellow and pale blue. Her symbol include a checkered red heart and a white lamp. Her tree is the laurel, and her favorite foods include sweet cakesk pink champagne and rice.

Magickal Activity

Charm Lamp

Items You will need:

Yellow paint

Olive oil

Magnet

Cane Syrup

Honey

Jasmine flowers

Floating wick

Bowl made from one-half of a coconut shell (cleaned and sanded)

Turn the coconut bowl over and paint the Ve’-Ve’ (heart sigil: pictured) around the bottom of the bowl. Allow to dry. When the paint is dry, fill the bowl with 1/3 each of the liquid ingredients, beginning with the cane syrup, then the honey, and then the olive oil. Make your wish and drop the magnet into the bowl. Thread the loose wick through the magnet into the bowl. Thread the loose wick through its metal holder, and float it on top of the oil along with the jasmine flowers. Speak your desire over the bowl, and light the wick. When the wick has completely burned out, take the still-filled bowl to the nearest lake or rver along with seven pennies. Make your wish one more time, toss the bowl and pennies into the water then turn and walk away. Do not look back.


 

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EARLY SCOTTISH WITCHCRAFT {Part 2}

EARLY SCOTTISH WITCHCRAFT {Part 2}

 

It is not surprising that ignorance prevailed, nor that superstition was rampant in a people so cut off from the scientific and cultural advances of other communities. Burton noted how the Scottish environment was significant for the kind of magical beliefs it produced: “In a people so far behind their neighbours in domestic organization, poor and hardy, inhabiting a country of mountains, torrents, and rocks, where cultivation was scanty, accustomed to gloomy mists and wild storms, every impression must necessarily assume a corresponding character. Superstition, like fungi and vermin, are existences peculiar to the spot where they appear…. And thus it is that the indications
of witchcraft in Scotland are different from those of the superstition which ill England receives the same name.”
One particularly striking difference was the strong belief ill fairies present among the Scots. This had sprung from Celtic traditions and many tales were told of visits by mortals to the underground homes of the elves and of fairy changelings placed in the cots of human babies. Written records abound of elf-bolts (Stone-Age arrowheads) and other items which support the theory that
the tales of the little people stem from accounts of pre-historic peoples which have been handed down by word of mouth from generation to generation. Evidence that these may be founded, to some extent, upon fact was unearthed at the beginning of this century. Between 1905 and 1912 a number of “pygmy” flints were discovered on the banks of the Dee, near Banchory, Aberdeenshire, and dated at about 5000 B.C. Most Of these flint points, arrowheads, etc., are less than half
an inch ill length; as no larger flints have been found on these sites the obvious inference is that the people who used them were pygmies or little people.
A unique situation arose from these beliefs which was repeated nowhere else in the world. Some of the persons accused of possessing magical powers through the agency of the devil, being unable to disprove the charges, tried to explain that the powers were given to them by the fairies in an effort to acquit themselves of a charge of witchcraft. Accordingly fairies were also declared heretic in Scotland along with other woodland spirits and minions of the devil.It was against this background of superstition that the Catholic Church founded in Scotland, very much as it had been in England. As with other countries the wealth and power of the Church grew until it was at its peak in the fourteenth century. The Catholic hierarchy in Scotland was far richer than those of other European communities, but despite this great wealth the ranks of the Church were
none the less corrupt. The lower orders of ecclesiastics were quite illiterate and priests would willingly sell the sacrament for money – probably for magical purposes. The higher orders indulged in vices similar to those of their European brothers, enjoying a privileged depravity which eventually would bring the crusading forces of the Reformation down upon their heads: Cardinal Beaton was said to have fathered seven bastards; while Patrick Hepburn, Bishop of Moray, seems to have had at least fifteen children by different women, Although the people had good cause to be dissatisfied, the Catholic Church was able to keep a firmer hold in Scotland than it had in England, at least for a while. Much of early Scottish history was a series of conflicts between overlord and monarch, with the former trying to safeguard his fief against rivals at all costs and pledging little allegiance to his King in the process. These same chiefs would band together to take action against an unwanted head of state, and there was no king who sat easily on the throne; the lords murdered James I and James 111, rebelled against James 11 and imprisoned James V, James VI and Mary Stewart. But despite this continuous threat the monarchy maintained a tenuous control, principally because it was reinforced by the power and riches
of the Church. Thus supported, the throne could not defy the clergy in any of their practices; if religious reform was to come to Scotland, the initiative had to spring from the discontent of the citizens themselves. By the beginning of the sixteenth century a Protestant infiltration had
begun in Scotland, and anti-Catholic ideas were beginning to take a stronger hold among the people. The dangers presented by this new theology were regarded as sufficiently severe for Cardinal Beaton, the head of the Catholic Church in Scotland, to begin a campaign of extermination as soon as he was made Archbishop of St Andrews in 1539. He decreed that all Protestants should be burned as heretics and set about taking over the reins of government himself, so that by the following year James V had become a mere puppet in the hands of the Church. Nor was James unwilling to be a pawn of the clerics: he felt that he was victimized by political witchcraft (one Janet Douglas, Lady of Glamis, had been burned in 1537 on charges of conspiring to poison the King), fiercely believed in omens and evil visitations, and was often tormented by visions of impendingdoom; without the strength of the Church his position would no longer be secure. When James died in December, 1542, the Protestant lords seized power and
placed the Earl of Arran on the throne; Beaton’s aspirations had been circumvented and the time seemed ripe for a religious revolution. Shortly afterwards George Wishart, one of the first spokesmen of the Protestant cause in Scotland, returned to his homeland. Wishart, who called himself the “messenger of the eternal God”, is said to have taught Greek at Montrose in 1558. While there, he denied that Christ was the Redeemer and was subsequently driven from
the town by the Bishop of Brechin. The following year found him in Bristol, where he again came under attack for his ideas. Faced with the prospect of a heretic’s death, he recanted and then fled to Germany, where he became even more convinced of the truth of the Protestant doctrine. Once back in Scotland, Wishart traveled the country preaching against Catholicism.Towards the end of 1543 Arran, together with a great number of lords, switched allegiances. Beaton was reinstated and began imprisoning those who, perhaps because of Wishart’s exhortations, had been rioting in protest against Rome. Ironically, Henry VIII helped to further secure Beaton’s position by his
invasion of Scotland in 1544, for the Cardinal took advantage of the hatredwhich all Scots held for the English and united conflicting factions against the common enemy.

In 1545 John Knox joined Wishart’s company as an aide and bodyguard. Knox held his mentor in great esteem and considered him to be a true prophet. Their association was a short one, for in the same year Wishart was apprehended by the Catholics and proclaimed a heretic and traitor; he died a witch’s death,  strangled and burned at St Andrews. Following Wishart’s execution there was a successful attempt on the life of Cardinal Beaton, and the Catholic Church lost its power as quickly as it had reassumed it only two years before. The populace attacked the monasteries, looting and pillaging as they went, and the lords efficiently took over the lands that had belonged to the Church. The Protestants seized the castle at St Andrews and held it until the intervention of troops from France forced their surrender. It was within the castle, preaching to the rebels and encouraging them, that Knox first assumed the role of a radical and outspoken reformer.
Knox was sentenced to two years in the galleys for his part in the uprising; once freed, he left Scotland and spent the next ten years in England, France and Switzerland espousing the Protestant cause. During this time he took up Calvin’s misogynist philosophy and expanded it into a political ideology. While in Geneva, Knox put forward his ideas in The First Blast of the Trumpet
against the Monstrous Regiment of Women.

Nature doth paint them forth to be weak, frail, inpatient feeble, and foolish, and experience hath declared them to be  inconstant, variable, cruel, and void of the spirit of council and regiment. For these notable faults, which in all ages have been espied in them, men have not only removed them from rule and authority, but also some have thought that men subject to the council and empire of their wives, were unworthy of all public office.

He hoped that such an argument would remove all the women from the thrones of Europe and reinforced his position with an even weaker piece of reasoning, submitting that a queen was an idol to her people and as such committed treason against God; her rule and authority were not, therefore, lawful in the eyes of God.
Although Knox may have intended to attack Catholic queens only, he did not make such a distinction clear and Elizabeth, who was by this time reigning in England, was displeased. When he returned to Scotland in 1558 the Queen, as might be expected, would not permit him to travel through England. But disfavor had not softened Knox’s tone, as Morel, the Chief Pastor of the Genevan Congregation in Paris, made clear in a letter to Calvin. “Knox was for some time
in Dieppe, waiting for a wind to Scotland…. He dared publicly to profess the worst and most infamous of doctrines: ‘Women are unworthy to reign’, ‘Christians may protect themselves from tyrants’. – – . I fear Knox may fill Scotland with his madness.” He did fill Scotland with his madness-the devil’s madness. Although there is no doubt either that he was a sincere man who would not be diverted from his principles or that he did lend strength to the Protestant cause in Scotland, he pursued his goals in a ruthless and unfortunate manner. An expert rabble-rouser, he ‘concluded his incitements to kill the Catholic clergy and level their properties in the most lurid of terms. To Mary of Guise, James’s widow and then Regent of Scotland, he addresses a letter: “To the Generation of Anti-Christ, The Pestilent Prelates and their Shavelings in Scotland”. He
referred to her as a “wanton widow” and implied that she had been the mistress of Beaton and other clerics, all of whom were an “impure crowd of priests and monks.
In taking this attitude Knox was at variance with the true leaders of the Protestant movement in Europe; he went his own way and led his own revolution. He was idolized and imitated, and for generations the pulpits of Scotland were filled by pastors who thundered their interpretations of the Scriptures in the manner he had pioneered. Whereas England had tried to discourage Catholicism by imposing heavy fines, Scotland took direct action and very soon there were few
people who would admit to ties with Rome
Knox, like Wishart, attributed to himself special powers granted by God.  “I dare not deny,” he wrote, “but that God hath revealed unto me secrets unknown to the world”. He referred to himself as the “Prophet” and sanctioned his actions with the glamour of divine approval. This, again, was imitated until eventually no preacher who was worth his salt lacked a reputation for sooth-
saying and working minor miracles.
By 1560 the Catholic Church was practically non-existent in Scotland and the Protestants were in control. It was then that Knox, with certain others, produced a Book of the Policy and Discipline of the Kirk, and from that date the Presbyterian Church can be said to exist. This book was the source from whichthe rigid control on all aspects of the lives of the people emerged, and it gave
the Presbyterian Church more power over the subjects :)f the King than the Catholic Church had ever had.
This was the situation which had to be faced by Mary Queen of Scots, when she came to take her rightful place on the Scottish throne the following year.

***This is an excerpt from Witchcraft in History by Ronald Holmes. Copyright
1974 by Ronald Holmes. ISBN 0-8065-0575-3

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