Posts Tagged With: Nature

WOTC Quiz of the Day: What’s Your Place In Nature?

Your Place in Nature?

 

Humanity evolved from the heart of Nature. Day by day, season by season, generation after generation, human lives were linked inseparably to the cycles of the living world. Like the heartbeat of a great Mother, the rhythms and workings of the natural world imprinted themselves into every cell of our bodies. We knew our place within the whole and developed spiritual beliefs that honored our independence within the vast network of sibling species.

For eons, the idea that humanity could be separate from the rest of life was essentially incomprehensible. Only in the past few hundred years have our minds fully embraced these concepts that tear us from the embrace of our broader family. The new myth is hard. By keeping us from recognizing the Earth as our natural means of support, it engenders in us a feeling of abandonment.

How do you perceive the living world around you? How do you view nature? Take this quiz and find out:

As you consider each question, jot down your responses. Be brief. The point is not to have everything all polished and exact – it is to get you thinking.

1. How would you define Nature? What is your personal relationship with it?

2. What is humanity’s relationship to Nature?

3. What do you like most about the natural world? Which plants and animals are most important?

4. What do you not trust about the natural world? What aspects of it scare you? Which animals or plants would you consider “bad?”

After taking this quiz step back. Create some distance between yourself and the mainstream consciousness. Work with your beliefs. As you begin to see the world more clearly, you’ll have an opportunity to observe your own beliefs with greater objectivity. Feel your connections. The very best way to demonstrate the illusion of separation is to gain some first-hand experience of just how connected you really are. Then, when you hear messages that try to convince you that you’re isolated, they won’t have any power. You’ll already know the truth because you’ve felt it in your body.

 

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If It Aint Broke, Don’t Fix It!

If It Aint Broke, Don’t Fix It!

Author: Dances With Puppydogs 

I was broken.

There was always something wrong with me. Different…. And all I ever wanted was to be normal. Oh, I could fake it, for a while. But it never “took”. The effort of maintaining the phony façade would drain my energy to the point where I couldn’t keep it up for long.

Why am I such a freak? Why can’t I think, talk, act, be like everyone else. I even looked like a freak!

The long sleeved, high-necked dresses, always in an ugly dark brown, or rusty black that I was forced to wear. ‘Old Lady’ colors, I thought of them. Hems nearly to my ankles. My odd curly red hair — along with the suspicious comments, “Where’d that red hair come from? Nobody else in the family has red hair!” Hey, banana curls look cute on a three year old, but a thirteen year old? Going to public school? My curls gave me some hellish moments, let me tell you!

To top it off, I was FAT! Humongously, hideously fat. Now, in the particular society wherein I was raised, it was ok, nay, required for a female to be fat. It made them better baby factories, so it was thought, limited their mobility…how fast can you run from a husband who’s beating the crap out of you if you weigh 300 pounds? And God liked fat females .

Yeah, you heard me. God. Don’t ask me how they came up with that one…something to do with the Songs of Solomon, I think…

Right now, you might be a little confused. You might be thinking, ‘Where were you raised? A third world country? The Dark Ages?’ Nope. And Nope. Try Southeast Missouri, USA. I was born in 1953, into a Christian cult right in the middle of the Bible Belt. Needless to say, I was one confused, mixed up little girl.

At home: I was stupid, sinful, evil, female, property, devil possessed (my epilepsy was proof of that) , ugly, too skinny, and there was that suspicious red hair. Maybe Mama had been stepping out and there was that redheaded neighbor across the street. After all, she was female. Born evil. Maybe Daddy hadn’t beaten all the sinfulness out of her, after all!

In the Real World: I was too quiet; I had fits (epilepsy) . I wore freakish clothes and banana curls. I was stupid, fat, ugly, loser, freak, cow, and the list goes on and on.

At home, I wore one mask. At school, another. Of the two, the one for home was more important. At school, I would only get clobbered. At home, I could be tortured and killed! Home was a very dangerous place. There Were Rules:

1. Never smile. Smiling meant you were making fun of Grandfather, which meant you were making fun of God, since Grandfather was holy and so close to Him that they were one and the same. Get this, Grandfather couldn’t sin! He was so holy, that he could do anything he wanted and it wasn’t a sin. Anything. Neat, huh?

2. Never frown. You should have joy in the Lord.

3. Never, Never, Never Get Angry if you were a female. It showed you had a rebellious nature. Men could get angry. Their anger was the righteous anger of the Lord.

Indeed, I was broken. I wasn’t “normal” and never could be. At school, I buried myself in books. No monkey bars or swings for me. At home where reading anything but the bible was a mortal sin (and even the bible wasn‘t necessary for women. After all, they had men to explain God‘s Will to them, usually with their fists.) , I hid as much as I could. The cornfields, the woods, became my refuge.

But getting back to normal. Definitions:

Normal: conforming to the usual standard, type, or custom. Nope, not me. No way, no how, would I be considered normal. And that’s all I wanted.

Broken: inoperative, malfunctioning, faulty, defective, out of order, broken-down, kaput (informal) , conked-out (informal) , worn-out, wrecked, had it, busted (US, informal) , bust (informal) Me: all of the above.

A normal family, a normal home, a normal appearance…to think and act in a normal fashion. And I couldn’t have or be any of that. I was deeply terrified by the future. I knew I wasn’t equipped to live out there in the real world. I was so ignorant. How would I live, how would I get a job? Who in his or her right mind would hire someone like me?

Yet, I knew I wouldn’t stay with my family. Anything would be better than that! As soon as I could, I’d get out. So. I got married. I was fifteen. So was hubby. Stupid, stupid me. Being married to a fifteen year old alcoholic, who took the pastor’s words “Men, chastise thy wives in the name of the Lord, lest their weak, sinful nature bring shame to thee and thy God!” to heart, that’s better, huh.

At least, at home I could flee to the fields and woods occasionally when the mask I wore became too much to bear. In my new role, with adult responsibilities, such escape was impossible. Two weeks later, I ran away. I had only the clothes on my back, and little bit of food I stole from the kitchen.

Interlude: When I was very young, I was taught that to be a good person, you had to be perfect at everything…especially if you were female. If God had a chosen people, so did the Devil and those were the women. You never got angry. You never protested, no matter how you were treated and you never, ever said no to a male. Let’s see, how’d my grandma put it? “You should be proud to serve (as in ‘be a servant to’) your little brother.”

Perfection in itself wasn’t enough. Everything had to be done perfectly the very first time you did it. Practicing was cheating. A truly godly person didn’t need to practice. God would guide her. If you had to practice something, it meant you weren’t close enough to God. You were a (gasp!) Sinner!

Monster Me

I looked inside myself and to my horror, found a monster living there. All the things you weren’t suppose to be, to do, to think, were right there inside me. That creature, that hideous inner thing that gibbered with unchecked fury, that couldn’t be me, …could it? No, huh-uh, no way!

Panic time, ladies!

What if I did or said something that would let everybody know that monstrous thing was inside me? What if other people could see who, or what I really was! What if I lost control of that fuming seething cesspit of rage and actually hurt someone, maybe even killed someone!

Why was I like this, so different from everyone else? It seemed so easy for them. Was I born evil, like my parents told me I was when they dragged me to church time after time to have the devil cast out of me, born to burn in hell, forever?

I wannabee a Witch!

I turned to Witchcraft because it seemed perfect for someone like me. Misunderstanding what it really was, having been fed on false notions of Witchcraft all my short life, and already doomed to hell, what did I have to lose?

So I was a secret witchwannabee, ready to embrace Evil, and kiss the Devil’s backside. The trouble was, that Ole Devil never appeared with his big black book and his pen dripping with blood to sign me up. I did my petty little black deeds and waited and waited and waited………being evil is almost as exhausting as being good. I wasn’t good at being bad!

If it aint broke, don’t fix it!

Imagine my shock when I finally stumbled across my first book on true Witchcraft. This was more like it! This I could do! Full speed ahead! The book gave me life. I absorbed its knowledge eagerly. I wasn’t evil! Or crazy. Or broken. My feelings, my thoughts weren’t bad. They were normal! Everybody had them! I didn’t need fixing. I wasn’t horrible monster, doomed to die in sin and forever burn in hell. As a famous Vulcan would have said, “Hell is not logical.”

And God wasn’t a monster, either! He was kind and loving and good. Most incredibly He was also a She! God/dess!

For the first time, everything made sense. The ideas, the ways of thinking, the beliefs and philosophies, I had always felt and thought like that! For the first time, I was at peace. I was Home.

So, armed with my tattered little yard sale book, I gathered my little bit of courage, and my mountain of desperation, and fled. I spent that summer hitching rides from strangers, crisscrossing this alien country, learning. I learned about Rescue Missions. About soup kitchens and dumpster diving. I learned about hidey-holes and best of all, I learned about cans.

Yup, good ole sody cans. Gather them up in a garbage bag and carry them over to the scrap yard and they’d pay you for them…with real money. I remember how excited I was when another homeless person told me about cans. Now I could have an income. I could buy food! I could buy a tent, a sleeping bag! Thank you, Goddess!

It took me several months to save up enough but that first night, snuggled up warm inside my bag, reading my book by flashlight, my cheap little tent was a palace. When it got colder, I bought a second bigger sleeping bag and stuffed the first one inside it. A small camp stove made out of a coffee can allowed me to cook my meals instead of having to eat out of cans.

I even managed to accumulate a small library of books. You could buy used paperback for a nickel or dime back then. I was in heaven!

While I was learning to live in the mundane world, I was also learning more about Witchcraft. I read. Everything remotely pertaining to magic, the Goddess, and a zillion other subjects.

My small camp in the woods brought me close to nature. I gladly sacrificed edibles to the raccoon family, and the lone coyote that visited me in the middle of the night, watching their antics in the moonlight.

When I slipped from Witch, to Wiccan, I don’t really remember. It occurred so naturally, like breathing.

I lived there until I was twenty-three. My books gave me an education. I got my GED at nineteen. I continued in my path, finally managing to get a real job and an apartment but I never forgot my tiny camp in the woods and the happiness I found there.

When I look back, I feel both pity and love for the small, confused, hurting girl that I was. My childhood was very painful, but it also gave me strength. The Mother was wise. That strength was what I needed to survive the ordeals that lay ahead.

My spiritual path continues to evolve. I left Wicca. I felt a need for more balance in my life. I follow the path of the Shadow Witch, now, but that’s a whole other story.

Blessings to All.

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The Daily OM for May 9th – Experiencing Nature by Night

Experiencing Nature by Night
Moon Gardens

by Madisyn Taylor

A whole other world exists in the light of a moon-filled night that few of us even notice.

In the height of summertime’s heat, we drift outdoors at dusk to refresh ourselves in the temperate air of evening. Cricket song and the glow of fireflies come together with ever-lengthening shadows to create a natural symphony of overlapping sensations that invigorate the body and gladden the soul. As the sun sets, the vivid colors of most flowers and leaves fade, becoming a dull grey, but moon gardens provide us with a space to appreciate Mother Nature’s bounty long after the light of day has retreated. Designed to be enjoyed from dusk until the coming of the darkness, these gardens serve as a perfect complement to silvery moonlight, mild summer nights, and the spirit of rejuvenation.

Most plant life worships the sun, but a select few shrubs and flowers come into their own in luna’s glow. The silvery leaves of lamb’s ears and artemisia reflect the radiance of the moon, while the bright-white flowers adorning yucca and evening primrose seem to shimmer brilliantly in dusk’s gloom. Certain blossoms such as the moonflower and four o’clocks open only at night, releasing their sweet fragrances in spectacular displays of scent and beauty. While creating a moon garden, remember to take each human sense into account. We appreciate the ghostly beauty of nighttime nature best when we can sit comfortably until our eyes have adjusted to the surrounding darkness. Bamboo and thick grasses make a comforting sound when bandied about by gentle nighttime breezes.

Transforming a portion of your existing yard or patio into a moon garden is simple, and the pleasure you will derive from your nighttime retreat will become worth it once you start to enjoy it. Green spaces come alive at night when nocturnal blossoms release their perfume into the air and ethereally lovely and luminous foliage dances in the breeze. In a moon garden, relaxation is a simple matter of attuning yourself to the stillness of evening and seeing, for the first time, the myriad shades of beauty that can be found in the darkness.

 

Source:

The Daily OM

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day April 28

Elder’s Meditation of the Day April 28

“Indians living close to nature and nature’s ruler are not living in darkness.”

–Walking Buffalo, STONEY

There are many Indian people who are living according to nature and according to ceremony and culture. They may not have a lot of material things, but that doesn’t mean they are not successful. What is success anyway? Can success be measured by material things? What is it we are really chasing anyway? The Elders say that what everyone really wants is to be happy and have a peaceful mind. Material things by themselves do not bring happiness and peace of mind. Only spiritual things bring happiness. When we live a spiritual life we will not have darkness. Instead, we will be happy.

Great Spirit, today, let me walk the Red Road.

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Spell Ingredients: Add a Large Dose of Reality

Spell Ingredients: Add a Large Dose of Reality

Author: Solonius 

The first ingredient for any spell: A large dose of reality…. I mean, really, what do you expect? If all spells worked, wouldn’t humanity universally believe in witchcraft and magic and use it wholeheartedly? And to that extent wouldn’t worthy practitioners be a desired commodity? It is imperative for practitioners to separate their wishful and whimsical fantasies from serious study, contemplation, experimentation and application.

I believe that in order to further understand and define the super-natural, you first have to develop and have a thorough understanding of the natural. Any study of the Craft requires a greater amount of study into the realm of Laws of Nature and the Laws of Physics. After all, how can you define what is extra-ordinary, if you don’t even know the extent of what is ordinary?

The Laws of Physics are many, and the typical high-school student mostly understands the important ones. Opposites attract (by and large this only works for ions, kids, not people) , for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction, a body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force, for any change in state the by-product or causation is heat, etc. How can better knowing these things help us in a greater understanding of our spell work? Because all these things deal with Energy, and what is the Universe constructed of? Anyone…? Yes, Energy. And what does spell work deal with, when you boil it all down (pun intended) ? That’s right, Energy! Or more accurately, the transfer of energy. This is the First Insight that any practitioner should grasp. EVERYTHING is energy.

The Second Insight that we should understand, because it deals with both types of laws, is that Nature abhors a vacuum. That can be observed as simply as watching a balloon deflate. What do you discover with these phenomena? That Nature seeks a balance. This holds true for the Laws of Life and the Laws of Physics. The Universe naturally seeks equilibrium. Whether this is between hot/cold, high pressure/low pressure, too many predators and not enough prey, the Law stays the same. In the end, Nature will follow its Laws. You do know, though, that there is a defined and empirical Order to Things. You might not understand it fully, but you can be assured that an order exists by observing the smallest things in nature. This is crucial: Be observant to Nature and learn from it. Nature, in all its complexity, is still a system of doing things the easiest and least energy wasting way. Contemplate that reality for a while.

Where does this energy come from? Good question. Is it physical energy, which means connected to our current plane of existence? If that is so, then you would not be able to contain it for the energy you are talking about on the physical plane is electrical in nature, and you would become walking atom bombs if you gathered the energy required to perform some spells. So it can’t be a physical energy type.

Is it spiritual energy (which obviously means it is energy collected from higher levels of existence) that you are able to gather and use? The usual consensus is “Yes, it is.” This leads to the next set of questions. Can energy from higher levels of existence cause effects on a lower level of existence? How can if affect the energy in a lower existence, if the two existences are not on the same sphere? Can the physical things you do on a lower plane of existence affect what happens on a higher plane of existence? Is your mentality the only link between what you perceive as the physical plane and planes above what you can perceive with your physical senses? What is the extent of ‘Reality’, does it encompass ALL spheres of existence as ONE reality? Nature abhors a vacuum, so if As Above – So Below is a Law of Nature, does this mean that the energies of a higher plane seek a balance with the energies of a lower plane?

It is said that in the higher planes all things are possible if you only imagine it so. I further postulate that you must not only imagine it so, it must become your perceived REALITY. You must learn to tap into the energies of the higher planes, and effect permanent changes there, before any changes can happen in the physical plane. I’ve often said that there is an ocean of difference between Understanding and Knowing. Understanding is intellectual; it is accepting truth without necessarily going through all the motions to prove it. Knowing is visceral; it deals more with proof from the physical senses perceiving something as true. Ergo, to make a change here, you have to Know that you have made a change in higher realms first.

I postulate the reason for this is the hypothesis of ‘trickle down economics’ if you’d like. What does this mean? It means that in order to build a hut on the physical plane, you must first build a mansion in the higher planes. More complexly, Nature (meaning all planes of existence) seeks a balance. Nature also does things the absolute least energy-wasting way. I perceive that Nature does not easily permit energy to flow across planes of existence, even if they are in the same ‘Reality’. With As Above – So Below, you can see through a simple diagram of two superimposed triangles (one point up, the other point down) that the equilibrium point is above here and now (the bottom point) , yet below the ultimate expression (the top point) . As you move down from the ultimate expression (the open V) , less and less energy is transferred. Therefore you must have a firm and knowing conviction of what you wish to accomplish and see a clear and precise picture of it occurring, before you can hope to realize it happening.

Ironically, you should also have a wonderfully developed sense of imagination up to the point of believing in what seems impossible. Only with an active imagination can you build that mansion up to the point of actualization in the higher planes. This seems contradictory, but I don’t feel that it is. Without a firm mental picture of what you require to exist, can you hope to achieve your goal? You have to build that mansion brick by brick, through much mental exactness and conviction. This requires a great deal of imagination as well as focus. The constructed mansion should then remain in that higher plane once you have completed it. It’s there; there is no doubt of its existence in your mind. Every time you visit the higher realms your mansion is there, gleaming with its glory. Make it Reality. Does this mean that a mansion will magically appear here and now for you in the material plane? Probably not, but the single minded effort it took to imagine it as reality in the higher plane, could translate into the required motivation and focus to achieve it in the here and now. Here is something else to consider: owning the mansion is secondary to the method of achieving it.

I’ve used the visualization of a mansion to put a face to a concept. However, it holds true for any endeavor. What you wish to have happen is secondary to HOW you achieve its happening. You build the mental picture (higher plane reality) while simultaneously going through with the steps required to achieve the same results. This multiple avenue approach enlists all your faculties to achieve what your desire is. The greater the amount of energies enlisted to achieve your desire, the more energy the universe aligns with the outcome. Remember: the method of how you achieve your goal is primary to the goal itself.

As an example: There is a twice-weekly fervent prayer on many lips throughout the land: “Please let me win the lottery!” However, if you never go out to purchase a lottery ticket, the effort placed into your prayer was wasted, wasn’t it? The same occurs with your Craft. Creating a spell to achieve the end result is short sighted. You still have to do the work to realize your goal. There really are no shortcuts. I don’t mean using some elaborate spell either. I mean elaborate mental visualization, coupled with following a plan to achieve the goal. Each reinforces the other, making the possibility of achievement vastly greater. Ground that visualization into what Laws Nature has already demonstrated. This lends conviction and credibility to the achievement of the goal.

What would be the required steps to achieve that goal without using any Craft? Incorporate those steps into the visualization with your spell. Bypass any flights of fantasy; they require too much energy to maintain. After all is it easier for your mind to accept flying to work on a broomstick, or driving your car? Your mind will default to what it Knows is possible, and will automatically call B.S. to what is not. Even a child imagining flying around the house on a broomstick Knows that they are just pretending. So why kid yourself? The more reality you incorporate into your Craft, the greater the results you will receive.

*On a side note: I don’t think of the planes of Reality as floors in a skyscraper, nor are they in some cardinal Direction. They don’t exist as pages in a book, where you can turn a page and have a new reality. I think of it as a condensing of energy from zero (conversely the most dense) to the ultimate amount of energy. They are all concurrent and here and now, superimposed upon what we can only perceive as the physical plane due to the limitations of our senses. This energy is limitless to infinity. For infinity is provable as far as we have observed. Outside the edge of the growing globe of galaxies expanding outward, is vacuum. Forever. You could hypothetically travel so far away that this entire globe of expanding physical energy seems like nothing more than a single spec of brilliant light. However, the theory of infinity breaks down if you require a starting point. As Above – So Below… Infinity must go in BOTH ‘directions’ forever, or the concept breaks down.

I thank you for your time in reading this. I hope it gave you some food for contemplation, and in some way helps you with more success on your path.

Regards,
Solonius

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The Daily OM For April 1st – Physical Intuitiveness

Physical Intuitiveness
The Body Is Natural

by Madisyn Taylor

So much of the human experience is removed from nature that we forget we are products of the natural world.

So much of the human experience is removed from nature that we tend to forget that we are products of the natural world. At the moment of birth, we are perfectly attuned to nature. Our feelings are an authentic response to the stimulus we encounter. We interact with our environment viscerally, desiring only what is necessary for our survival. And, if we are lucky, we take in nourishment in the form of pure mother’s milk. As months and years pass, however, we discover the sights, sounds, and scents of the synthetic world. Though these often momentarily dazzle us, the dim memory of our naturalness remains. When we embrace the notion that human beings are inherently natural, bringing it to the forefront of our day-to-day experiences, we achieve a new level of wellness that boasts nature at its very core.

We innately understand that our bodies are not composed of plastics or man-made chemicals and that there is no legitimate reason to consume or expose ourselves bodily to such substances. This knowledge is reinforced each time we find ourselves energized by sweet, fresh air and warm sunlight or awed by the majesty of Mother Nature’s beauty. We feel the strength of our connection to nature when fresh food that is close to the earth sustains us more effectively than artificial supplements and when the pleasures of exercise outweigh the pains of exertion. The human body has been blessed with the same physical intuitiveness that all nonhuman living beings employ instinctively. But because our lives are no longer bound up in nature’s rhythms, we must actively seek to reconnect with this formerly innate skill. The process of rediscovering our place in the natural world can be exciting and inspiring, since nothing more is required of us than to delight in nature’s wonders, to derive nourishment from natural foods, and to drink deeply of all the wisdom that plants and animals have to share.

Your own naturalness will reveal itself to you when you look beyond your beliefs, your lifestyle choices, and the attitudes you hold. When these constructs are stripped away, you will see a body and mind that never gave up its relationship to the essence of the natural world from which consciousness sprang.

Source:
Daily OM

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What Is A Druid, Anyway?

What Is A Druid, Anyway?

Author: Ellen Evert Hopman

There are many different Druid Orders and as is the case with most Pagan groupings, no two Druids will see things in exactly the same way.

To further confuse matters there is a different focus and feel to American Druid Orders and English ones. I can only speak for myself, as an American Druid of the  (Ord Na Darach Gile) .

History:

“Gaine daughter of pure Gumor,
nurse of mead-loving Mide,
surpassed all women though she was silent

she was learned and a seer and a chief Druid.”

(From The Metrical Dindsenchas, Gwynn translation, 1903)

There is plenty of evidence that women as well as men were Druids in ancient times. Druids presided at divinations and sacrifices and praised the Gods, but the primary task of all grades of Druids was to follow an intellectual path.

The Druids were the learned class of the ancient Celts, analogous to the Brahmins of India.

Both Hindu and Celtic culture are derived from the same proto-Indo-European roots. The caste system of the Hindus and the caste system of the Celts were essentially the same; both were fluid, that is one could move up or down the social ladder depending on skill and learning (it was only in the 10th century that Hinduism “froze” its caste system – a reaction to invaders from outside) .

The Druid was analogous to the Brahmin, the warrior to the Kshatria. There were the producer class of farmers and craftsmen and finally the slaves who were analogous to the Hindu untouchables. Among Druids there were specialists; it seems unlikely that every Druid was mistress of every Druidical function. Druids did not commit their knowledge to writing; important facts were memorized and passed down orally.

A Druid could be a Sencha, or historian for the tribe. They could be a Brehon, in which case they would have memorized volumes of Brehon Law making them eligible to be a lawyer, a judge, or an ambassador. A Druid could also be a Scelaige, or keeper of myths and epics. These myths were recited at important occasions like weddings and births, at the onset of a major journey or a battle.

The Cainte was a master of magical chants, invocations and curses. They could banish or bless with a song. The Cruitire was a harpist who knew the magical uses of music; she was mistress of the “three kinds of music:” laughing music (the sound of young men at play) , crying music (the sound of a woman in the travails of childbirth) , and sleeping music (the sound of which would put a person to sleep) .

The Druid might be a Liaig, a doctor who used surgery, herbs and magic to heal, or a Deoghbaire, a cupbearer who knew the properties of intoxicating and hallucinogenic substances.

Further specialties included the Faith, or diviner, the Bard, who was a popular poet and singer, and the highest grade of Druid, the Fili, a sacred poet and diviner whose words were prophetic.

Like Sorcerers, Druids performed feats of magic in the service of the king or queen and in the service of the tribe.

“Then Mogh Roith said to Ceann Mor: ‘Bring me my poison-stone, my hand-stone, my hundred-fighter, my destruction of my enemies.’

This was brought to him and he began to praise it, and he proceeded to put a venomous spell on it…”

(Forbhais Droma Damhghaire, Sean O’Duinn translation)

Druids were the teachers of the sons and daughters of the nobility. It was their task to hand down from generation to generation the knowledge of sacred animals, trees, plants, stones and all the details of the landscape, its history and how each feature got its name, as well as the tribal laws and precedents.

In contrast to village Cunningmen and Wisewomen (Witches) , who were counselors, midwives, magicians, herbalists, and veterinarians for their community, the Druids advised and worked closely with the nobility. A king or queen was a person from the warrior class who had spent their entire life learning the arts of defense and war, who was then elevated to the “Nemed” or sacred class by means of an elaborate ritual.

Druids were hereditary members of the Nemed class who had spent their lives learning the laws. A king or queen had to have a Druid advisor by their side at all times so that they could rule according to precedent. The stories of Arthur and Merlin are a good illustration of this relationship.

The justice of the king was so important that it would determine whether strong and good-looking children would be born to the people and if the weather, crops and animals would prosper.

There is evidence that the Druids supervised at human sacrifices. However, there is no evidence of the type of wholesale immolation in wicker cages reported by Julius Caesar. It is well to remember that Caesar was attempting to paint the Druids in a lurid light in order to get funding from Rome to continue his military campaigns and further his personal political ambitions. It seems likely that prisoners of war and criminals were dispatched in much the same way as we do it today, after judgment and sentencing.

The Druids were persecuted by the Romans and killed off in many Celtic areas.

However, the Romans never got to the extreme north of Caledonia (Scotland) nor did they invade Ireland. As a result Druids and their teachings persisted for many centuries. The Bards were able to continue to disseminate Druid teachings via story and song.

Who the Druids Were Not:

The Druids were not priests and priestesses of Atlantis, nor were they a lost tribe of Israel. Early English historians could not imagine that groups such as the Irish (whom they considered to be backward and inferior) could possibly have produced such a class of noble intellectuals and clergy.

The Druids did not build Stonehenge or the magnificent cairns of the Boyne Valley; Knowth, Dowth and Newgrange, which were built by pre-Indo-European, Bronze Age peoples. However, it is quite likely that the Druids used those monuments. In the case of the Irish structures, there is plenty of mythological evidence that the Iron Age Celts and their Druids revered these sites as sacred.

The Druids were not proto-Christians. They had their own system of ethics and deities that pre-dated Christianity.

Core Beliefs:

All of which brings us to the difficult question of what it means to be a Druid in the new millennium.

All modern Druids attempt to honor Celtic tradition. They also understand that there is no fully intact tradition of Druidism that stretches back to ancient times and that of necessity every Druid Order must create its own ritual form.

Some are happy to include recent speculations, such as the poetry of Robert Graves (inventor of the Celtic Tree Calendar) and others try to stick to more rigorously researched, scholastically verifiable sources.

It is more common to find practicing Christians among the English Orders. American Druid Orders, such as Whiteoak, Keltria, and ADF, place a larger emphasis on Pagan Celtic scholarship, seeing themselves as lore keepers for Pagan Celtic cultural, religion and magical tradition.

Irish Druidism is often concerned with the Forest Druid tradition, seeking to keep alive the ancient woods lore of the forest dwellers of the Elizabethan era and earlier.

As in the past, modern Druids tend to be intellectually curious, reading voraciously on subjects such as Celtic tribal law, history, philosophy, poetry, magic, religion, mythology, spirituality, traditional healing methods, music, archaeology and astronomy. They use these studies to create ceremonies that honor the Earth and the Celtic pantheon of Gods.

The Druids are not a male priesthood. There are a few popular authors and at least one old English Order that try to perpetuate that idea, but they are in the minority and do not represent the majority of Druids today. Druids are not among those who seek to exploit or ignore the Earth in Her time of need. They recognize that nature hangs in a delicate balance and that all life must be tended with care.

Druids do not ignore the needs of the people. As in ancient times they care for the welfare of the people, giving comfort in times of sickness and death, rejoicing in each other’s life passages and achievements, and seeking to advise, as best they can, the secular leaders of their towns, states and nations. They donate time and money to religious, cultural and humanitarian projects that capture their imaginations.

In short, Druidism is not a solitary path. The Druid is not isolated from her spiritual community, her town, her city, her nation or the world.

Ways of Worship:

Druids love nature and seek to know the land they live on intimately, observing seasonal and astronomical changes and animal behaviors as timing for festivals and as portents for the future.

Druids honor rivers, trees, mountains, green herbs, rocks, animals and every living thing. The Whiteoak Druids, for example, take an oath to protect “the Earth and Her creatures, ” making offerings to trees, stones, and to the local River Goddess of the Druid’s bioregion. Druids place an emphasis on praising the Gods and less of an emphasis on magic, using song, poetry, and crafts to express their love and kinship with their chosen deities. Druids make offerings to fire and water as a regular part of their rituals, in keeping with ancient Indo-European tradition.

Celtic Reconstructionist Druids, in keeping with tradition, work with the Three Worlds (Land, Sea and Sky) more than the Four Directions. Druids invoke and thank the ancestors, the Nature Spirits and the Gods in their rites. Druids are true polytheists, understanding each deity as a distinct individual with His or Her unique likes, dislikes, and spheres of influence. Among Druids it is considered somewhat rude to bring deities from different religions and cultures together in the same circle and every effort is made to work within genuine Celtic pantheons.

A Witch’s circle is a closed space, designed to hold and contain energy to build it into a “cone of power.” A Druid circle is a permeable affair; persons may walk in and out at will. Since part of the energy raising involves inviting the Nature Spirits to participate, Druids feel that there is no point in walling off the circle. Druid ceremonies are most often performed out of doors, ideally in the presence of living water, a fire, and a tree (or a pole or staff substitute) .

Modern Druids do not practice animal or human sacrifice, regarding hard work and artistic achievements as adequate offerings.

The major festivals of the Druids are: Samhain, the ritual end of the harvest season and great festival to honor the dead; Imbolc, a festival especially dedicated to the Goddess Brighid; Beltaine, the beginning of Summer and Lughnasad, the start of the harvest season and a festival dedicated to Lugh and His foster mother. These festivals are known as “Fire Festivals.”

Many Druids also celebrate the Equinoxes and Solstices and some meet at the full or new moons

____________________________________

Reading and Other References:

For a list of links to the major Druid Orders, book lists and service projects please see:
Sources:

Breatnach, Liam (translator) ; Uraicecht Na Riar, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, Dublin, 1987.

Hopman, Ellen Evert; A Druids Herbal, Destiny Books, Rochester, VT, 1995.

Kelly, Fergus; A Guide To Early Irish Law, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, Dublin, 1991.

Kelly, Fergus (translator) ; Audacht Morainn, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, Dublin, 1976.

Markale, Jean; The Druids, Celtic Priests of Nature, Inner Traditions, Rochester, VT, 1999.

Matthews, John; The Druid Source Book, Blanford Press, London, 1996.

Ellen Evert Hopman

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Witchcraft – Chapter nine – Witchcraft Today

Witchcraft

Chapter nine – Witchcraft Today

by Ilil Arbel, Ph.D.

A thousand years ago or today, if you asked a witch why she practices the Craft, her answer would be universal: It accomplishes results.  However, the many “workbooks” and “spell books” on the market won’t necessarily teach you how to become a witch or to perform magic. Pursuing witchcraft without a coven, without ceremonies, without initiation does not generally work. At best, it will probably be self delusion; at worst, it can do some psychological damage. There are some witches who work alone. There are even courses one can take in big cities such as New York or San Francisco. But Witchcraft is more than just a few spells – it’s a religion. Without the tenets, the commitment, the depth of feeling for the earth – it’s just an imitation.

There is no doubt that magic still exists, and that it can be powerful. But how do you define it in a world such as ours?  If all the nonsense is dismissed, it means using some abnormal ability or a talent. The witch creates a change in circumstances – a change that would not have occurred naturally. Some people have psychic powers, just as others have a natural talent for painting or music. When trained, the powers are enhanced. When used in the correct manner, they are quite successful. Naturally, these powers can be used either for good or for evil. Those who use it for good tend to become witches. Those who use it to do harm call themselves Satanists or Devil Worshipers. There is always a choice.

As seen in previous chapters, all isolated societies have ceremonies, initiations, and some form of magic. Witches, the descendants of such people, have not lost the knowledge. Other organized religions tend to ignore the magical connection, with one exception – prayer. All religions claim that prayer accomplishes tangible results. What is prayer but an attempt to convince the supernatural to do what we want?

Most witches believe that the power is found inside their own bodies. This is the reason why some witches prefer to work in the nude – they feel that the clothes block the power’s release. Other witches work partially nude or dressed in loose robes. In today’s society, with its relaxed attitude toward the human body, nudity is not a problem. After all, the witches do not engage in any immoral activity during the ceremonies. But during the Middle Ages, or even the 18th century, people sometimes didn’t take off their clothing even to bathe. They wore special “bathing robes” for the purpose, so that they would not have to look at their own nude bodies!  It is easy to imagine the uproar when the nudity of the witches was discovered. Naturally the general population assumed the witches engaged in orgies.

In the East, it is commonly believed that each person generates a personal electromagnetic field. It is called the Aura. Many Westerners agree that the Aura exists, and some parapsychologists and physicians are currently investigating it. Many books about the subject are available, so there is no need to go into a discussion of the Aura here, but it does bring up an interesting point. Those who see the Aura, whether with the naked eye or with the new scientific apparatus, say that clothes do interfere with the observation of color and vibration of the Aura. Investigation, therefore, is always carried out in the nude. As it is possible that some of the magic is dependant on the Aura, it would be interesting if someone would conduct a combined study.

There is so much more that can, and should be done. Today’s New Age scene makes practicing Witchcraft easier than ever. There is a climate of greater tolerance to these matters, and other disciplines benefit as well – such as parapsychology, homeopathy, and the more serious research into the occult. Those disciplines are not at all alike, but there are occasional overlaps that are immensely interesting. One such connection is the subject of Out of Body Experience, or as parapsychologists usually refer to it – OBE.

OBE is the condition in which the person undergoes separation between body and soul. The body remains asleep or immobile, while the soul travels the world or even the universe. The condition has been observed by such different people as Tibetan monks, German mystics, and Medieval witches. No one really knows how it happens, or if something actually leaves the body. Some say it’s simply a vivid dream, or a hallucination. Others feel that one’s consciousness is able to “stretch” to any distance, but the soul has nothing to do with it. We don’t know.

Witches have always done it. They believe that it is a dangerous pursuit, best done only after strict training, and under a “buddy system,” like scuba diving. When the soul leaves the body, a shining “silver” cord seems to connect them to each other. The witches say that it may snap and the person could die, unless carefully watched by the “buddy.”

Many modern witches, and some researchers as well, tend to believe that this was the base for the legend of the flying witch. The Medieval witches were so certain they actually flew when they were out of body, that they confessed doing so to their tormentors, much like what they did when they had flying dreams induced by drugs.

There is a large selection of books about OBEs. Particularly good are those written by Robert Monroe, a modern American who had incredible experiences with OBEs and had established a research center devoted to it.

Of course it is just one example. A combination of many disciplines, including the understanding of religion and history, can do much to open our eyes to new possibilities. Fortunately, some witches are willing to talk and cooperate, and their help is important. One of them is Sybil Leek.

She is an extraordinary woman. A truly nice human being, and a warm and committed family person and friend. A successful journalist, mostly in Radio and Television, and a writer of the most interesting books. She leads a normal life in every way, but in addition is, and has been since early childhood, a practicing witch. She has made it her mission to educate the public about the difference between Wicca and Satanism. The reason is her fear of the merging of the two systems. So many covens are sprouting, without the benefit of the traditional training, that some, she feels, may be drawn to the dark side. She strongly objects to the practice of occult knowledge without the mental discipline. Dabbling with the powerful forces of the Occult without being able to fully control them can be dangerous to the practitioners as well as to the people around them.

In addition, she is also concerned about the split in Witchcraft that took place during the 20th century. There are two major systems. One is the old Celtic Tradition which she follows with her coven, Horsa, located in New Forest in England. The other was led by the late Gerald Gardner, and is stronger in another part of England and in the Isle of Man. Both systems are influential in America as well.

Many consider Gardner the father of the revival of Witchcraft in our time, though he disagreed. He always maintained that good friends, who were members of a coven,  introduced and initiated him to Witchcraft. Either way, he certainly did much for the followers of the Old Religion, and his books are outstanding for their accuracy and historical interest.

Since 1951, the year in which the last laws against Witchcraft were repealed in England, many covens, on both sides of the Atlantic, came out of hiding. During the years of secrecy, they grew in different directions, and some have little or no resemblance to original Witchcraft. While Sybil Leek objects to that, other people feel that it doesn’t matter. As long as the basic tenets are followed and no harm is ever done, there is no reason to prevent evolution in the Old Religion.

It is impossible to outline a religion based on thousands of years in one short chapter.  In addition, so much is private and never revealed by any real witch. But some basic knowledge of the Old Religion is necessary even in a historical review such as this book. It is particularly important to set the record right, because the student can be misled by the number of modern books that pretend to teach the actual ritual. Those books are fun and mostly harmless, but they are not the Old Religion.

To understand how the Old Religion is structured, let’s start with the description of the Beginning. It is based on the old Celtic tradition, but of course it goes back much further.

In the beginning, there was Energy. The Energy was a mixture of the sublime, the material and the etheric fire. The fire contained life and creative thoughts.

The Supreme Being used these to create vapor, which eventually condensed into water, earth and air. They combined with the fire and together created physical and spiritual life.

Intelligent beings came to life. Some were lower than humanity, such as animals and plants. Some were higher, such as angels and nature spirits. All slowly evolved over millions of years into more complex and diverse forms.

This happened, and will happen again, not only on earth but throughout the universe. The great energy, directed by the Supreme Being, allows growth and reincarnation for everything – from the smallest creature to a star system.

Since spirit is always present, thought is a form of matter. By sending out thought, one can build matter from energy. This is one way “magic” is done – the creation and manipulation of events and matter in ways which are different from the usual.

Reincarnation allows continuous education. Each life, in the thousands of bodies the spirit occupies, teaches and refines the spirit. It is slowly prepared for the final merging with the creative force, when it will bring back all the rich experience to enhance the source.

Nature is the body of this life force. We are all part of it, and hurting even a small section is doing damage to the whole. This is why the witches are the guardians of the earth. They seek to protect and heal it. Each blade of grass, snail, or elephant is as important to the witch as her own body. This is why Witchcraft and ecology have so much in common.

Witchcraft does not have a Bible, but it has a code. In other religions, most of the tenets are based on the difference between good and evil. In Witchcraft, most of the tenets are based on natural laws. They stress a balanced life, based on the understanding of the cyclical nature of the universe and the earth.

To the witches, good and evil are human ideas. The powers they follow are neutral – they can be used to heal or to destroy. By carefully staying with the rules, they avoid harming anything.

Witches seek the Absolute Good by trying to find and correct imperfection within themselves. They also try to transfer the idea of goodness to all that surrounds them. The goodness within is the spark from the Supreme Being.

Evil must be shunned. Association with evil slows the pursuit of the absolute good. However, since everything was created by the Supreme Being, there is no point in judging other people’s behavior. Each person is responsible for their own acts. So the witch will not curse or put a hex on anyone – it will only hurt her own Karma. The world is full of matters beyond one’s control, but by using reason, the witch can avoid the pitfalls and go successfully through each incarnation. She avoids blaming circumstances, gods, or other people for her misfortunes, and tries to learn something from difficult events.

Witches have no temples. They worship the Creative Force through nature. Representing it are the Goddess and the God. The Goddess takes precedence – it is a matriarchal religion – but the male principle, represented by the God, is greatly honored. He warms the Earth to bring the harvest, and therefore is identified with the sun. He is also the essence of the spirit within the woods, trees and water. The Goddess is the all-mother, the symbol of fertility. She also represents the moon and its cycles.

It is easier to worship and identify with these two Gods, because they are part of the Earth. The Supreme Being, who is above all else, is involved with the concerns of the entire universe, and therefore more remote.

Through meditation, a witch can be in touch with higher beings. They help her with the growth of her character and development of her life. But this should not grow into dependency. Each person is responsible for her or his own growth, so mediation and contact with those beings are limited. As the spirit evolves, higher vibrations are developed, and one becomes closer to the Supreme Being. This makes magic easier to achieve.

The clue for witchcraft is the ability of the witch to see, really see, the connections and relationships in the universe. Since the Creative Force of the Supreme Being made the universe, everything is connected. When the connections are perceived, they can be manipulated. The witch does exactly that. You can learn a hundred different incantations and magic brews, but unless you see the hidden unity between two things or events which seem to be far apart by time and space – you’ll accomplish nothing.

All this is organized into the tenets, which are as important to the witch as the Ten Commandments are to the follower of the Judeo-Christian traditions.

The tenets are not in order. They are all equally important and depend on each other. Following them is as essential to being a witch as the knowledge of magic or the celebration of the ceremonies. There are various versions, but for the greater part they are in agreement.

* The tenet of reincarnation. Each human being has three parts – the body, which is the earthly vehicle;  the mind, which is the reasoning part;  the spirit, which is the immortal part. The spirit inhabits many bodies until it has learned enough to return to the Supreme Being.

* The tenet of the balanced life. One must learn to live a life which is orderly, balanced and free of any excess. Body and mind must be healthy. One must work and support oneself. Relationships must be reasonably good. Lifelong education must be pursued. Duty to one’s family and community must be honored.

* The tenet of the harmony with the universe. One must realize the unified nature of the universe and one’s place in it. Harmony is essential for the successful life and the Karma.

* The tenet of tolerance. One must accept the fact that others have different opinions, and endure it without suffering or inflicting pain.

* The tenet of learning. Learning should not be limited to books. Practical as well as theoretical learning is essential, and it must be applied to everyday life. It is best to learn personally, from a mentor, and at one’s own pace. One should realize what one is best at, and learn to specialize.

* The tenet of trust. All love must be accompanied by trust. This means love of every kind, toward people, animals, nature or the universe. Without trust love is meaningless.

To practice Witchcraft, the witch needs a few tools. They are very much the same since the dawn of the Old Religion, and are basically simple.

  • A sword, used for forming magic circles.
  • A knife, used to guard against evil.
  • A white-handled knife, used for cutting herbs or heather for the broom with which the witches sweep the circles clean.
  • A wand – for small private rituals, such as praying to the Guardian Spirits.
  • The Pentacle, a five or six-pointed star, used as an amulet, and carried at all times.
  • A censer – a vessel for burning incense.
  • Four candlesticks to burn in honor of East, South, West, and North.
  • The scourge – a knotted rope, used as a symbol of power and of suffering.
  • The cords -symbolic of the binding quality of the power.

While many of the practices are unknown, some are no longer a secret. Since the witches believe that the original Wicca came from the East, the altar is placed in the east. In addition, the witches start from the east when forming the circle. The representatives of the God and Goddess generally stand in the east, too.

Prayers are made toward the north. In the old days, the witches believed that the North was the direction of Paradise. It was underground, in a hollow earth, and the northern lights shone from there.

A circle is purified. The priest and priestess, as representatives of the God and Goddess, bless cake and wine in a short ceremony. They place a cauldron in the middle of the circle, and spirit is poured in and ignited. Herbs and flowers are thrown in. The priestess and priest, standing in a pose that represents the magical pentacle, chant a prayer. Everyone dances around the cauldron. After that, there is a feast, including the blessed cake and wine.

The circle represents a sacred place between our world and the world of the gods. It is drawn with chalk or paint on the floor, or simply drawn as a mark on the carpet. Another symbolic circle is drawn in the air with a magical knife. The circumference of the circle is between nine and 11 feet, unless there is a reason for a larger circle, perhaps  to include a larger coven. The inside is blessed and purified, and is considered the gods’ domain. It contains the power inside it, and does not let it dissipate.

Obviously, this is a beautiful, nature oriented, peaceful religion. But if one is not stable and balanced, the control of magic can be psychologically damaging. An unlimited use of the power may lead to Satanism. The Satanist has little self control, as Satanism does not demand it. So he or she is always willing to promise instant, powerful results to those who seek their aid. Satanism, therefore, is tempting for the new student who is not always patient, and wants to see quick results. Also, it has drama and style, and is more exciting than the balanced, controlled way of the Wicca. It glorifies unlimited mental power and justifies any excess as the natural state of humanity.

For example, an important difference is the way the gods and spirits are treated. To the witch, everything depends on free will. Even the choice of obeying the Goddess and God is exactly that – a choice. The price for such liberty is that the Gods do not have to give the witches what they want, either. If asked, the Gods may answer the request, or they may decide otherwise. The witch does not expect the requests to be answered regularly. The favors certainly cannot be demanded, and they are never bartered. There is no such thing as a sacrifice, for instance. No witch ever thinks – God, if you do such and such for me, I’ll say twenty prayers. Or if you answer my request, I’ll give to my favorite charity. Also, the Gods are never blamed for any natural calamity, such as an earthquake, or a forest fire. Such things are part of the natural history of the planet, and if the witch suffers because of it, well, that’s the way the world is. The only prayer the witch would say could be something like: “Dear Mother Goddess, give your daughter the courage and the strength to bear this calamity.”  These are not the exact words – they are not available – but this is the gist of it.

The Satanist, on the other hand, feels the need for control. The entities he approaches, be it demons or the spirits of the dead, are conjured and commanded to do the magician’s bidding. If the spirit manages to release itself from the spell, it generally turns on the magicians and destroy them.

However, it must be understood that the power itself is the same whether used by the witch or by the Satanist. The energy is coming from the same source, and is neither good nor evil. It’s just there, available to those who can use it. The Satanist knows about the unity of the universe as well as the witch, and conducts his or her magic accordingly.

To put a curse on someone, there must be a link made between the man, the “medicine” or charm, and the magician. The magician will obtain a few fingernail clips, some hair, or at least some clothing of the victim and establishes the link. If such objects are not available, the magician tries to create an artificial link. He will hide a magical object in the victim’s house, or will create a wax image in his likeness. Occasionally,  the magician will create a psychic link by simply declaring the need for it. The energy of magic then goes through the link as if it were a channel.

While witches have no need to tamper with other religions, the Satanists must. There is no Satanism without Christianity. As seen in a previous chapter, Satan, or the devil, is a Catholic creation. There is no real Satanic bible, Satanic code, or Satanic tenet. All that exist are the reverse of those of the Catholic Church. So the Satanist ritual is a crude and unpleasant mockery of the Church. Mutilated crucifixes, the Lord’s Prayer read backwards, obscenities inserted into the Bible readings are some of the rituals.

These practices are mainly stupid and lacking in good taste. Unfortunately, Satanists engage in some other, much more dangerous activities. There is evidence of desecration of cemeteries, animal mutilation, and even, though rarely, ritualistic murders. While not everything is known about their cult, there is no doubt that the animal mutilation is a form of sacrifice. The desecration of cemeteries is done for the purpose of digging out the dead bodies. The Satanists need the bodies for practicing necromancy.

The power of the Satanists should not be underestimated. Like the witches, they have psychic powers, and a variety of physical and mental tools. There are incantations and magic words, which are really a way of setting vibrations in a certain way. They use wands, rings of power, various herbs, and knives. The clothing is specially designed, with embroidery of the names of the demons or other forces.

Aleister Crowley was an interesting modern Satanist, living between 1875 and 1947. Crowley studied the occult from a very young age, with a particular interest in the dark side of magic. Blood, torture, and mutilation fascinated him. He even neglected to get his Cambridge degree because of his involvement with magic. For a short while he was part of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn – an organization close in philosophy to Witchcraft. However, he was rather quickly expelled.

After that, Crowley completely dissociated himself from the Old Religion. It was much too tame for his taste, which leaned toward the dramatic. He called himself “The Great Beast” and his services were quite showy. He wore a wardrobe of incredible ritual garments, had an impressive collection of ceremonial swords and knives, and conducted the services on a huge altar, decorated with extremely tall, valuable antique candlesticks. The combination of the opulent surroundings, his magnificent voice, and his extremely dominant personality made him one of the most famous modern Satanists. For a long time Crowley had a large following.

Addiction to drugs and heavy drinking, however, destroyed his body as well as his mind. Still, he left books that may be of interest to the student of modern Witchcraft. Despite his many problems, Crowley was a very intelligent man and an interesting writer. His love of the theatrical, however, interfered with the accuracy of his writing. For example, he was blamed for practicing necromancy and human sacrifice, which in reality he never did. Not only he did not deny the activities, some people claim he actually started the rumors – to enhance his reputation as the “Great Beast.”  So one does not know how seriously to take some of his statements.

Another interesting Satanist is Anton LaVey. He is the founder of the Church of Satan, and the author of The Satanic Bible. As said above, it’s not really an official bible. It’s really just LaVey’s views. He maintains the traditional ideas, though, that Satanism is the reverse of Christianity. God, to him, represents evil, while Satan, who is good, will eventually triumph.

Interestingly, LaVey admits that he had never seen Satan. He feels Satan is a mirror image of humanity. While one can communicate with him, much like the way one communicates with God, Satan cannot be conjured or summoned any more than God can. The smaller demons and devils he considers mere dreams and hallucinations. This interesting approach got him many followers. Most of his success, though, he owes to his sense of drama, like Crowley, and his ability to manipulate people. His attitude to Witchcraft is clear. He despises witches and all they stand for, and considers them hypocrites. Obviously, Satanism has very little to do with Witchcraft, and is best avoided by the serious student. In addition, it has little to offer by comparison. A little instant gratification, sure, but not the depth of the Old Religion. It is a much younger religion, too, a mere few hundreds of years old, while the Old Religion had been here from the beginning.

In a religion this old, obviously there have been ongoing evolutions, and many branchings of the roads. It is good and even necessary that it should be so. But still, it is always important to maintain a balance, as the witches say. So we all benefit if the Old Religion is kept, at least by some, in its ancient and pure ways. As we are entering the twenty-first century, we do so with an ecosystem partially destroyed by our own lack of respect for nature. Perhaps it is time to learn from the ancient Guardians of the Earth. They can help us restore our planet to its former health and beauty. And then the sad eyes of the old Shape-Changer, the wise and innocent man/beast whose picture is so beautifully drawn on the dark walls of Stone Age caves, will no longer accuse us of the destruction of his beloved domain.

 

Resource:

Encyclopedia MYTHICA

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