Posts Tagged With: Deity

Deity of the Day for November 18th – Priapus, God of Lust and Fertility

Deity of the Day

Priapus

God of Lust and Fertility

 

Priapus was a minor Greek fertility god best known for his large and permanently erect phallus. He was the son of Aphrodite, but there’s some question as to whether his father was Pan, Zeus, Hermes, or one of Aphrodite’s other numerous lovers. Priapus was a protector of gardens and orchards, and is typically portrayed as a homely old man with a raging erection.

According to legend, before his birth, Hera cursed Priapus with impotence as payback for Aphrodite’s involvement in the whole Helen of Troy fiasco. Doomed to spend his life ugly and unloved, Priapus was tossed down to earth when the other gods refused to let him live on Mount Olympus.

He was raised by shepherds, and spent a lot of time hanging out with Pan and the satyrs. However, all this cavorting in the forest with the fertility spirits proved frustrating for Priapus, who remained impotent.

Eventually he tried to rape a nymph, but was thwarted when a braying donkey alerted her to his presence. He pursued the nymph, but the other gods helped her hide by turning her into a lotus plant.

In some stories, his lust left him with a permanent erection, and in others, he was punished by Zeus for the attempted rape by being bestowed a set of huge (but useless) wooden genitalia.

In the Greek countryside, Priapus was honored in homes and gardens, and doesn’t appear to have had an organized cult following. He was seen as a protector deity in rural areas. In fact, statues of Priapus were often adorned with warnings, threatening trespassers, male and female alike, with acts of sexual violence as punishment.

His name gives us the medical term priapism, which is a condition in which a man can’t get rid of his erection, despite a lack of stimulation, within four hours. It is actually considered a medical emergency.

 

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May The Goddess’ Love & Light Shine Down on You This Tuesday Morn’!

Winter Images

The divine is everywhere
Flowing through the universe
Light and water and air
Loving and healing
 
Every place is divine
And every home touched by deity
The divine is everyone
Walking a thousand paths
Stranger, friend and family
Different yet the same
And every person touched by deity
 
The divine is inside each of us
In every breath we take
Action, thought and essence
Accepted and accepting
We are divine
We touch and am touched by deity.
 

Blessed Be

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Once a Witch, Always a Witch

Once a Witch, Always a Witch

Author: RuneWolf

I’ve heard it said “Once a Witch, always a Witch, ” meaning that if we were a Witch in a previous life, we are more or less destined to be a Witch in this one. I don’t know if that’s specifically true in my case, but it might explain some things in the story of my journey to the Craft.

As with many of my generation (and other generations, of course!), my first introduction to the concept of a Witch was the infamous Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz. Oddly enough, when most of my friends and relatives were rooting for Dorothy and her crew, I was on the side of the Witch. After all, she wasn’t that horrid to me – Margaret Hamilton looked better in green and black than she did in plain black-and-white, and she had a better personality than many of my friends’ mothers! And most importantly, all she wanted were her late sister’s shoes. More than anything, it was the matter of the Witch of the East’s death and the dispute over the slippers that really set my young mind in turmoil. Why shouldn’t the Witch be mad at Dorothy? The little brat had killed her sister and stolen her slippers. Wasn’t that wrong? It seemed perfectly logical to me that the Witch should be irate. Even after my parents and friend tried to “explain” things to me, I still had my doubts.

Then came Bewitched. I don’t think I missed an episode in the first run. Aside from the madcap comedy, I was attracted by the underlying story of Samantha – a Witch just trying to live an everyday life. Little did I know that that admittedly exaggerated and fictionalized story line would become my own life story decades later! But despite the enthusiasm I had for the show, I also realized intuitively that Witchcraft was much more that waving your hands, reciting rhymes and twitching your nose. On some level, I knew that although they might have some things right, they were still way off the mark.

So much for the media influence on my childhood – what about religion and spirituality? My parents are devout Methodists in their own right, and raised us as such. That is to say, they believed that your religion (synonymous, to them, with spirituality) was something that you lived and breathed every day, not just in the confines of the church or congregation. To the point, in fact, where going to church became less and less of a priority for my parents as their children matured. Eventually, we would all drift away from the “fold” to find our own ways. There came a time when my parents no longer insisted that I accompany them to church. This was about the time I “came of age” and began to search for my own independence. I stopped going to church, not because I was particularly anti-Christianity, but because I found no spiritual fulfillment in our church. It was the early ’70s, and the church was heavily involved in “political” issues – the War in Viet Nam, women’s rights, racial equality and so on. All very worthy endeavors – but to me, they were just newspaper headlines, and did not address the yearning that was beginning to awaken within me. So I left the church but not in anger, and I bear it no particular animosity to this day. I know many people for whom it has become a spiritual anchor, a source of strength and beauty in their lives, and who can decry that?

Thus began my journey, though I didn’t think of it as such at the time. Over the next few years, into my early 20s, I would develop my own understanding of the Divine that, oddly enough, would dovetail very neatly with the Paganism that I would encounter years later. Principally, I came to see that Deity was immanent in the world, not separate from it, and that Deity could as easily be Her as Him. In fact, I clearly remember one of the most insightful moments of my young life, when I saw the bumper sticker that read “God Is Coming, And Boy Is She Pissed!” – and I thought “Of course! Why shouldn’t God be female? He/She/Them/It can be anything They want!”

Interestingly, during this period, I was heavily involved in school theatre, and played the Rev. Hale in The Crucible, and John the Witch-Boy in Dark of the Moon. It was the latter experience that really fueled my nascent interest in Witchcraft as a viable and living Tradition, as well as a mystical Path, and would stay with me through the dark and tumultuous years that were to come. It was also through Dark of the Moon that I made a connection with my Appalachian roots, and the long, deep tradition of Witchcraft that runs through the hollows.

Unfortunately, shortly after my graduation from high school, my life ran aground on the shoals of alcoholism, and remained marooned there for the next decade and a half. That’s not to say that I didn’t try to find my way, but spirituality and addiction are mutually exclusive. As much as I sought, and read and tried to practice, I never could make any headway. Duh! Zen meditation doesn’t really work if you’re getting up every five minutes to get a cold beer.

I ran the gamut from Taoism to Zen to Shinto to Western Occultism and even into Satanism, and nothing seemed to “work.” Eventually, I just gave up and drifted, empty and in pain.

When I’d had enough of that, I finally got sober. It’s interesting that it was through the gateway of AA, a spiritual program with decidedly Christian origins, that I finally came to the Craft. For years, I had assumed that the concept of Deity I had evolved in my late teens was somehow “wrong” because it wasn’t like “everyone else’s.” Then I got into AA, and one of the first things I really heard was “God as we understand Him.” That went through me like a lightening bolt, and suddenly everything that I used to think I believed in was supported, validated and encouraged. Suddenly, I was back on the Path, back to my journey of discovery.

It would take another two years, involve a side-journey through the realms of shamanism, and finally an introduction to the Internet, but at last I came “home” to the Craft. Even that was a near thing – my Teacher and I met on the Internet, began a correspondence that became a friendship and eventually led to my Dedication and Initiation. But how easily we could have missed each other! Surely the Gods were working that day to make sure we got together.

Since then, my journey has continued through many trials, including lapses in my sobriety. And I am even more convinced than ever that my sobriety must come first, for without it, I am totally cut off from the Gods. But when I am sober, and in tune with my Deities, my life is sweet beyond any ability of mine to describe. Not always easy, mind you – not always gentle. But always sweet, even if there is a little tartness or bitterness to set off the sweetness.

I began as a lone wanderer, became a Wiccan Priest, and now find myself something of a wanderer again. I must confess I am more at home in the role of Solitary – what some call a Hedge Witch – than I am as part of a coven or even less formal group. The Tradition into which I am Initiated is descended from Gardnerian Wicca, but would surely be considered Eclectic by hard-core Traditionalists. And I am a bit eclectic even for my Tradition!

And so it goes. Each day, I find a new aspect to my Craft. Some of them fit into my practice of Wicca, some fit into my practice of hedgecraft. I’ve come to realize lately that when I thing of myself as Wiccan, I think in terms of the religion and the group. When I think of myself as a Witch, I think in terms of my individual spiritual life and practice. There is, to me, a wildness and freedom about being a Witch that doesn’t always fit well into even the most liberal of Wiccan frameworks. And yet I derive strength and awen – a Druid term – from each.

This is my tale. These are my thoughts and opinions. May they be of amusement or use to someone out there.

Blessed Be.

Runewolf

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Deity of the Day for Oct. 16th – Nephthys The Egyptian Goddess

Deity of the Day

Nephthys

The Egyptian Goddess

 

Areas of Influence: Nephthys the Egyptian Goddess symbolized the transitional nature of death. In one Egyptian myth she helped Isis collect the scattered limbs of Osiris to reconstitute his body.

In her funerary role she was considered a fearsome but necessary companion, assisting the dead through the different levels of the afterlife.

She was also the Goddess of mourning, comforting the relatives of the deceased. These wailing mourners were described as the “hawks of Nephthys”.

This Goddess was the guardian of Hapi who protected the Canopic jar which contained the lungs.

She protected the Pharaoh in life as well as in death, incinerating his enemies with her fiery breath. This Deity also gave the Pharaoh the power to see that ” which is hidden by moonlight,” linking this Goddess to the powers of darkness and magic and making her a popular Deity with witches and magicians.

Her importance has been overshadowed by her sister Isis. In reality whilst Isis governed the energy of birth, growth, development and the visible she represented death, decay, stagnation and the invisible. In many ways she can be viewed as being the opposite force or the other side of the coin to Isis. However, because many fear death and magic in the modern world, rather than recognizing these forces as part of the cycle of life, her role has been sidelined.

Even this analogy does not truly represent the importance of this Goddess, recent evidence suggests that although there are no surviving temples dedicated to this Goddess she was worshipped widely. This Goddess also performed an important role at births where she stood at the head of the bed to comfort and assist the mothers whilst her sister Isis, acted as midwife.

This Goddess was worshipped by nursing mothers as she was considered to be the nursing mother of Horus and the Pharaoh himself.

This Goddess was also known as Nebethet and Nebkhat.

Origins and Genealogy: Seb and Nut were her parents of. Her siblings included Isis, Osiris and Set.

Married to Set the Egyptian God associated with the barren desert and sterility meant she was often thought to be a childless Goddess. Later myths however, suggest that after a union with Osiris she gave birth to Anubis.

Strengths: she is a protective Goddess and represents the cycle of death and rebirth.

Weaknesses: The duality of her nature means she is often neglected and misunderstood.

 Symbolism

In her funerary role Nephthys was often symbolized by a hawk, falcon or a woman with wings outstretched in protection.

She is also shown with her Hieroglyphs (a basket and a house) balanced on her head.

Sacred Birds: Falcons and Hawks.

Additionally this Goddess is the protector of the Phoenix whose rise from the ashes symbolizes rebirth.

Neophytes’ Archetypes

The Witch:

Uses knowledge of the universal laws of nature, the conscious mind and esoteric powers to manifest their desires.

The shadow Witch uses their gifts to increase their own power.

This deity was associated with the unseen world and magic.

How to work with This Archetype

The Witch:

The Witch maybe one of your Archetypes can if you have the gift of understanding how to transform situations, influence people, and make your visions and dreams a reality.

The Shadow Witch reminds you not to use these abilities to gain power over others as this is not magic but sorcery.

 

Source:
Goddess-Guide.com

 

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Is Divinity Real?

Is Divinity Real?

Author: Rev. Donna E. Mulvey

How do people go on throughout their lives without deity? Without a concept of a higher power?

I have seen so many people with no faith in anything and never ask why they are on this earth or even how they got here. Some even still only believe in themselves. I desire to know what happened in their lives that would cause them to believe thusly.

I have found that most people require proof, some kind of tangible evidence beyond doubt that Divinity or deity exists. They insist that in order to believe in a divine presence, they must see, feel, and hear. What they fail to understand that you can do these things already and to not do so is no proof that a higher power or divine presence does not exist.

The true face of divine regardless of what names we humans in our limited understanding attach to it is unknowable. This is why so many of us strive for it. Because it is unknowable.

I find that most people also look in the wrong places for evidence of divine. They do not realize that deity, or divine, does not live per say in any book of holy writ or building, but rather in our own hearts and souls.

Archeology has proven repeatedly that the ancient people worshiped a divine deity of some kind. How did the ancient Gods and Goddesses of the ancient world come to be if for not the evidence of their existence painted on cavern walls?

Were these just the meanderings of insane men and women?

I do not understand how people do not realize the miraculous power of prayer, that divine is and was before all things. We all manifest divine’s presence in different ways.

I have felt Her undeniable presence in my dreams, when I gave birth to my children. I feel Her power during storms, I see Her in every sunrise and sunset, when I see the moon in the sky (I envision the Witches before me standing before that same moon (that has graced the sky for millions of years) that is the representation of the Goddess in awe.

I hear Her voice in the wind and roll of the tides of the ocean. I hear it in my children’s laughter. I smell Her fragrance in the chill of autumn and the roses of summer. I feel Her body beneath my feet.

Think about it, do we really pray to empty air? Then how do we explain how our prayers are answered if there isn’t anyone up there listening to us? Our lives have purpose and direction with deity, as opposed to just randomly existing.

Ask me if I believe deity or a divine presence exists and I will say yes, for me in the form of the Goddess and Gods.

Still, other people do not believe unless they can actually ‘see’ with their own eyes, like in your face type thing.

I believe you do not have to ‘see’ divine to acknowledge existence. Rather you do not ‘see’ with your eyes per say but with your heart and soul. It is in the quietness of your mind, heart, and soul, which the voice of divine speaks to us.

When divine or even ‘supernatural things’ happen we try to explain it with science or even simple logic. That is part of the problem we cannot explain divinity away. Divinity exceeds science and logic and is beyond our understanding of time and space, as we know them to be. It simply goes beyond our scope of what we believe to be reality.

To ‘feel’ divine’s presence does not require physical senses as we know them, it just happens.

To those who do not believe in a higher power and have no concept of it, the feeling is lessened because they are so rooted in the mundane world and only a person who is spiritual minded would be able to feel without physical senses, its like a kind of inner knowing. Its simply a matter of faith, which one either has or not.

It’s too bad that society has gone to such lengths to ‘create’ its own religions when true spirituality comes from within us as opposed to getting it from a book, or a building. Divine does not live in these things, but rather is the entire universe.

The doctrines of some religions claim that Lucifer is the source of all-evil, when originally he was worshipped as a Sun God in the Tuscany Valley area of Italy with his sister, the Goddess Diana, the moon. Together they had a daughter Aradia, whom Diana sent to earth to teach Witchcraft to the people (much in the manner of Jesus being sent to earth for the forgiveness of sins) if you follow the Strega Tradition.

Cultures from around the world is filled with myths and legends about how the earth was created etc, does not make any of them wrong or right. In this instance, all ‘religions’ are the same when you look at the roots of them. They all have a Source, they all started from Divine.

The question is this- if cultures from around the world share the same stories, albeit told in a thousand different ways, then how can Divinity not exist?

I feel we must not deny ourselves our spiritual destinies the rewards are too great. It is our right as children of the Goddess and Gods, this is why we were created in the first place, to be spiritual beings and to edify and worship our creators. To create, to heal, to teach, and to love each other as surely as we love those who created us, our spiritual parents.

What have we actually created instead? War, famine, poverty, destruction, and to what end does this actually serve?

Not a damn thing.

In Marion Zimmer Bradley’s book ‘The Mists of Avalon’ (published by Ballantine Books 1982), page x-xi is a wonderful passage that hit home with me:

For all Gods are one God, ” She said to me then, as she had many times before, and as I have said to my own novices, many times, and as every priestess who comes after me will say again, “and all Goddesses are one Goddess, and there is only one Initiator. And to every man his own truth, and the God within”.

And so, perhaps, the truth winds somewhere between the road to Glastonbury, Isle of Priests, and the road to Avalon, lost forever in the mists of the Summer Sea. But this is my truth; I who am Morgaine tell you these things, Morgaine who was in later days called Morgan le Fay.”

The passage makes a good point. We all have a Source, a place we believe we come from spiritually. What we believe as our chosen path is our truths. For my mother, it’s Lutheranism, for me, its Wicca. None are right or wrong. That is the truth.

I believe Goddess and the Gods manifest divine. Known by a thousand names and faces. Since before the earth was made they have been, and they will be long after we cease to exist on this earth.

Faith within ourselves and within Spirit (by which whatever name we attach to it as our own truth) is where we find our answers.

All we have to do is shut up long enough to hear.

Blessed Be!

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Deity of the Day for September 16th is Goddess Pomona

Deity of the Day

Goddess Pomona

Areas of Influence: Pomona was one of the Numina, the Roman guardian spirits who watched over people, homes and special places. She protected fruiting trees and gardens.

She is an agricultural Goddess , responsible for the care and cultivation of fruit trees and orchards. Her name is actually derived from the Latin word pomun, meaning fruit. Her dedication to her work left her little time for love. She turned down the offers of marriage from Silvanus and Picus but was eventually tricked into marriage by Vertumnus. This deity was served by high priests known as Flamen Pomonalis in a sacred grove known as the Pomonal.

 

Origins and Genealogy: I can find no references to her parents, siblings and children.

Strengths: A nurturer, dedicated to her job.  As a fertility Goddess she represented abundance.

Weaknesses: So busy looking after her trees that she has little time for herself.

Symbolism: A popular figure in art she is shown as a beautiful Goddess carrying a knife to prune with and a platter of fruit or a cornucopia.

Sacred Animal/Bird/Plant: Apples.

Festival: A feast was held annually on the November 1st when apples, nuts and grapes were consumed to celebrate the harvest.

Unlike many of the Roman Goddesses she has no specific Greek equivalent.

Pomona’s Archetype

The Mother

The Mother is a life-giver and the source of nurturing, devotion, patience and unconditional love. The ability to forgive and provide for her children and put them before herself is the essence of a good mother.

In its shadow aspect the Mother can be devouring, abusive and abandoning. The shadow Mother can also make her children feel guilty about becoming independent and leaving her. It is not necessary to be a biological Mother to have this stereotype. It can refer to anyone who has a lifelong pattern of nurturing and devotion to living things.

As Goddess of the harvest she represents the Mother Archetype as she nurtures the fruits, trees and the plants in the garden.

How to Work With This Archetype

The Mother

You are exhibiting the features of the shadow Mother if you smother your children and are over protective. Encourage independence and allow children to make mistakes but be available to give care and advice when it’s needed.

The other shadow Mother is the one that abandons her children, or is so busy that she has no time for nurturing her young.

 

Source:
Goddess-Guide.com

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Deity of the Day for July 15th is Juno, Goddess of Marriage, Pregnancy & Childbirth

Deity of the Day

Juno

Areas of Influence: Juno was the Goddess of marriage, pregnancy and childbirth.

She was the Queen of the Gods and part of the Capitoline triad that also included Minerva and Jupiter.

This Deity was an embodiment of the traditional female roles of wife and mother.

One of her titles was Lucino (meaning light) as she helped to bring children into the light of this world at birth. She was also said to set and strengthen a child’s bones.

She was also Goddess of conception, a Goddess to be called upon in labour and one who helped settle disagreements between spouses.

Juno protected the finances of the Roman people. In this role she was the patron Goddess of the royal mint.

Before she absorbed many of Hera’s characteristics several scholars suggest that she was a Maiden Goddess.

The Month of June was named after her and it was considered the most favorable month to get married in.

Her other claim to fame is that as an archetypal figure she appears in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest.

Each Roman woman was said to have her own Juno which represented her female spirit.

Origins and Genealogy: According to later Roman myths she was the sister and consort of Jupiter and the mother of Mars, Hebe and Vulcan.

Mars was conceived when the Goddess was impregnated by a flower.

Strengths: Leadership and a loyal wife.

Weaknesses: Jealousy and vindictiveness.

Juno’s Symbolism

This Roman Goddess had a more warlike nature than Hera and was often depicted in a goat skin coat that was favoured among Roman soldiers.

She was also able to throw lightning bolts like her husband Jupiter.

Sacred Birds: Geese and peacocks.

Sacred Plants: The wild fig tree.

Festivals: A special ceremony was dedicated to her in the home to celebrate the beginning of each lunar month.

Her main festival, the Matronalia was held on 1st March. On this day married woman asked their husbands to give them money to make offerings to the Goddess.

A smaller celebration known as the Nonae Caprotinae took place on 7th July.

Greek and Etruscan Equivalents: The Goddess Hera was the Greek equivalent to Juno.

Uni was the Etruscan Goddess who shared many similarities with this Deity.

 

Source:

Goddess-Guide.com

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The Origin of Magick

The Origin of Magick

Author: Crick   

Have you ever wondered about the origins of magick?
By magick I am not referring to the stage tricks employed by various entertainers for our amusement, but rather the energy which numerous cultures and belief systems have tapped into in order to manifest their various objectives.

This universal gift is known by many different names depending on which culture/belief system one looks at. It may be known simply as magick, prayers, miracles, life force, juju, karma and so forth.
For the purpose of this article it will be referred to as energy.

Have you ever wondered if such energy was a latent presence here on earth prior to the arrival of humankind? Residing here as an ancient primordial force, which was patiently waiting for sentient beings to discover its presence and purpose.

And if it was here prior to the arrival of human beings, did it serve an active purpose in the shaping of life and/or the creation of events that allowed for said life to begin? Was this primordial energy an essence that was introduced by Deity by way of a direct involvement with what we know as life? Or was it a side effect that formed as a result of actions taken by Deity during the course of said activities?

Or perhaps it is a development that manifested itself with the advent of humans? Could it be that the life force that we know as spirit introduced this energy into the life process in order to provide us with opportunities to expand our spiritual awareness and/or connection with alternate realms?

And if this is the case, why do you suppose that such a tool for growth and/or communication is so under utilized?

I say this because in society today, folks tend to become less connected with the world around them and more absorbed with the part of the self that is influenced by the individual ego.

And if this is a tool for growth and communication, why is it that those folks who actually use this energy for this purpose are spurned and looked upon with suspicion and in many cases with outright disdain by others in society? Witchcraft in essence, embodies the concepts and principals in the use of such energy.

And yet the word “witch” brings out and runs the gauntlet of emotions and perceptions of humanity as a whole. And depending on which side of the fence one stands, a witch is either an evil and vile creature or a person who is in touch with and resonates with the universal energies of which magick is a major part of.

Where does this fear of the unknown come from?

Was the ego installed into our souls as a balance to such a powerful tool? Has the balance shifted too far to one side of our souls?

As humans we readily employ magick in our various endeavors, but do we really understand its origins and what exactly is that we are using as a tool? Could the ego be a safety mechanism that has been allowed for whatever reasons, to exceed its purpose?

In some cultures, magick known as prayers is used as a means of communication with Deity. Does magick have but one specific intended use? And if so, are all other uses of such energy but an abuse of its original intended use?

Within these same cultures, when an event that is normally beyond the capacity of mere mortals, occurs, it is called a miracle.

Are these so called miracles really but a form of the same energy that others would call magick? Can we as humans in fact manifest these miracles by employing this energy? Or should such manifestations be the sole province of deity?

And while we are on the subject, does this energy have a shelf life?

Does it become stronger with use, opening even more avenues of discovery and power as one venture along the path, or does it weaken from non-use and/or the cultural disbelief in such a power?

Or is it simply a neutral tool offered by the powers to be, with many different attachments waiting to be realized by humanity.

Regardless of what name we call this energy or by what concept we use to identify with it, this gift has surpassed all boundaries of cultural, religious and societal beliefs. It is found in all aspects and fiber of this existence that we call life. It is a dominant force, often in a passive way, in basically everything that we do as humans. As such we may most likely only achieve but a peripheral understanding of such a complicated and diverse force.

Perhaps one day when we become as one with deity, a more comprehensive understanding of such a gift will be made known to us. But until such a revelation is proffered by the powers that be, we should always strive to understand as much as we are able to in order to effectively use such energy in a way that is both constructive and meaningful to our personal lives and not only our personal lives but to those around us as well.

As members of a diverse community, we have a responsibility to contribute to the health and well being of our community. Because of the diversity of society, there will always be divergent views as to what this energy is or in how it is to be used. But at the end of the day, how we use such energy is still an individual decision.

There are certain pagans, in particular Wiccans, who believe that whatever energy is sent out will return to the originator threefold.
As a traditional witch, I personally am not so sure that such a transfer is so cut and dry, but in general such a concept is a good yardstick or learning curve to adhere to.

I personally do not consider myself a master for I do not believe in such a being outside of deity. Rather I am a student of life with lots of questions. For without such questions there are no answers.
And quite frankly I don’t have answers to many of the questions that I have asked here. What few answers I may have are based upon my personal life experiences.

As pagans we are each individual and thus should answer such questions as they pertain to each person in regards to ones own beliefs and practices…

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