CHANNELING CRYSTALS

CHANNELING CRYSTALS

These crystals have seven edges surrounding the largest sloping face. These crystals are especially useful for obtaining information from deep within yourself or from sources that are outside of your normal realm. They can help you draw on the knowledge and information that is provided by the universe, and can aid you in getting help from a higher source. A channeling crystal
can be used anytime you are seeking answers or help from outside of yourself.

 

You must`listen’ very carefully when using this crystal and realize that answers can come from many sources. Meditation is used with these crystals to get knowledge from the universe, and to communicate with your spirit guide. It can only be used by the person holding the crystal.

Communication with Guide: A channeling crystal is a line of communication with sources outside yourself. Generally, the main source is your guide. A guide is a non-physical entity whose primary job is to look after you. Every human being has a guide. Guides are sometimes called other things, such as conscience, or angels, but they are always with us. We must learn to listen to what they have to say. Your guide will never tell you what to do, or interfere
in other ways with what you want to do, but your guide is there to help you find answers for yourself. And you can use your channeling crystal to let your guide be your conscience.
A channeling crystal can only be used by the person holding it. In other words, you can’t send the energy to someone else in order to let him receive the information directly. However, since guides communicate readily with each other, you can become good at getting information to people by asking your guide to give you the needed information for someone else, and then relaying it to the person. This is how you channel information for others.
Channeling crystals amplify the quiet inner voice of your guide, and can be a big help in learning how to channel information, both for yourself and for others.

SELECTING A CRYSTAL

SELECTING A CRYSTAL

To select a crystal, first put yourself in a calm space. Hold the crystal in your right hand with the point towards you. Feel it physically. Be open to sensations like tingling, or change in temperature. Also feel the crystal emotionally. Think of the purpose you want it for, and see if you feel attracted to it. Be more concerned with how it feels than how it looks.
Allow the crystal to pick you by interacting with it in this way. And remember to go with your initial feeling.

WHAT CRYSTALS DO

WHAT CRYSTALS DO

Quartz crystals are a gift from the earth. They have the ability to amplify or strengthen the things in you that are positive, and can help you put away things that cause you fear or anger. They can strengthen your ability to be a loving person, and can enhance your abilities to enjoy life and accomplish the things you want in life. They can amplify intention, reduce stress, help with centering (balancing or calming), strengthen healing abilities, and surround you with protection by amplifying white light. Any healthy quartz crystal point can strengthen these things and help produce personal growth by amplifying the subtle energies that flow inside you.

HOW CRYSTALS GROW

HOW CRYSTALS GROW

Generally, quartz crystals grow in a hexagonal (six sided) structure, with additional faces sloping towards a point at one end. A crystal with these characteristics is itself also called a POINT. Points may be totally clear and transparent, or they may contain streaks, lines, rainbows, water bubbles or other inclusions. They may also appear cloudy if they have grown in a place where it freezes in the winter. Optical clarity usually has little to do with
a crystal’s quality and its ability to amplify the subtle energies.

PROTECTION, The Five Pebbles

PROTECTION, The Five Pebbles

Go to a moving brook or stream. While standing in the water and facing downstream, remove five small pebbles from the stream bed As you do this, visualize your need for protection.

As your hand closes over the pebbles, see them beaming out protective energies. Just as the pebbles are hard and have weathered for eons, so too will they strengthen your protective shield.

Now carry them at all times for protection. If you wish, place them in a small pouch or a fold of cloth, or incorporate them into some form of jewelry.

HEALING STONE

HEALING STONE

What you will need: any stone , a green candle and a white one
To make the healing stone: take an average stone from your yard or anywhere else
(if you have no yard or they all really suck) or you can purchase one like a tiger’s eye.
Once you’ve got one cast your circle, call your quarters.
Do an alter devotion then cleanse consecrate, and empower it.
Instill the flame of a green candle and a white one to empower it with healing magic and purify it.
While doing this hold your pentacle over it and say as many healing spells as you know.
Then pour holy water on it and you’re done.

CRYSTAL AND CANDLE SPELL

CRYSTAL AND CANDLE SPELL

Items needed: Basic altar set-up including:
–salt and bowl of water, candle in color symbolic of need.
Shield, ground, and center. Cast circle.
Charge of the Goddess/God.
Cleanse crystal by sprinkling with water, then with salt. Say the following:
“This crystal is hereby cleansed and dedicated to the workings of the Goddess and God.”
With tip of crystal, scratch image, symbolic of need, on candle (i.e., a heart for love, a dollar
sign for money, a fist for strength.
As candle is scratched, visualize your need with crystal clarity as if it had already been manifested.
Chant to raise power. Place candle in candleholder, set crystal near it, and light candle.
Watch the burning flame and again strongly visualize and chant &/or drum.
Allow the candle to burn down.

Blessed Be

Blessed Be

Author: Ariel

Probably the most common phrase that we use in the Craft is “Blessed Be.” This phrase is possibly the major common denominator in all of the different Craft traditions.

It is something that is a unifying principle within Witchcraft and although it is the most often articulated saying we have, it seems to me to be the least understood one I know of.

When we say “Blessed Be, ” all too often it is simply new jargon, or a substitute for “Hi, ” “How are you?” or “Good Bye.” Yet, these two words comprise one of the most powerful and sophisticated sentences in the English language.

“Blessed Be” is an ultimate Zen phrase, “Blessed be that which is”; “All that is, is blessed”. We are recognizing a truth that all is inherently blessed. We are reminded that in the present moment, everything is perfect. There is nothing that needs to be changed, and nothing that needs to be improved.

In this moment, everything is sacred. Being at one with the sacred now is a blessed state indeed, and saying “blessed be” from that point of view is a potent statement of recognition of the perfection of this moment. There is no future to obsess about, and no past to regret.

There is only this moment; it goes on forever, and all is truly blessed.

Another important facet of this gem of a saying is that it is a constant reminder of our function in the Craft: We are here to bless.

Once we develop a significant relationship with Spirit, in whatever way it presents itself to us, we eventually come to recognize that what the world needs from us is our blessing. The only significant contribution we have to offer the world is blessing.

In any situation, with any person or group of people, we are here to say (and mean) “Blessed Be, ” either silently or aloud.

When we take an honest look at any problem in the world, it becomes apparent that the problem stems from a lack of blessing, and the only cure is to bless.

I know for myself, I can honestly say that anytime I have been less than loving or compassionate in my life, it was in response to a great deal of pain I was experiencing at the time.

What I didn’t need in order to turn my life around was more judgment, anger and criticism. What I needed was love and blessing.

I needed someone to say “Blessed Be” and mean it.

We are children of divinity–children of the Mother and Father, of Spirit, of God, or whatever you choose to call it. As divine children, we are here as expressions of our parents. We are here as lights in a dark world. Our function is to recognize the light and divinity in everyone else.

“Blessed Be” can also be another way of saying “The divine love in me recognizes the divine love in you”. We are here as healers of this world. Whether we take this job seriously or not will determine what direction our world takes.

We have the power to transform the world in every moment just by seeing any situation from the point of view that we are divine beings here to bring blessing.

It isn’t a question of whether or not we have the power to bless, it is a question of whether we choose to use it or not.

If we say “Blessed Be” consistently and mean it, this planet can heal very quickly.

One thing that I have learned in my life is that there is enough pain in this world. We all know what pain is. We have been to hell already; we don’t need to indulge in pain any longer in order to know we want something else.

I can honestly look at my life and say that what I really need is not more misery. I see that what many of us are doing is indulge in misery out of habit, or addiction. It takes a great deal of determination to understand that our addictions are not serving us any longer and then decide that we are going to relinquish our investment in them.

Unfortunately, like any addiction, we often wait until we hit rock bottom before we realize that we have a problem. In Alcoholics Anonymous, the first step to sobriety is for the alcoholic to recognize that they are powerless over alcohol, and that there is a higher power who can restore them to sanity.

This is what blessing is all about. Whatever our wound, the healing comes about from blessing.

If we have a strained relationship with another person, our greatest work to bring us happiness in that relationship is the honest blessing of that person.

If we have a problem with our job, the healing comes about from blessing the job, and all the people in it on every level.

The act of blessing that I describe is not an abdication of power; it is a reclaiming of power.

Some might worry that we need to protect and need to defend ourselves, and that if we are blessing all the time, it will just leave us vulnerable to attack. This worry comes from the erroneous point of view that Spirit is ineffectual. We would do well to remember that the power of love is fierce.

Spirit is intelligent. It knows what to do. When we bless the world, we are in a position of ultimate power. Just as when our physical immune system is healthy, it takes care of all the viral and bacterial activity without us needing to know what is happening.

The Craft of blessing results in building a spiritual immune system that is so strong that nothing can touch us. It is not necessary for us to carry out punishment (curses) on others in order to be safe and protected. In fact, cursing is a domain in which we leave ourselves the most open and vulnerable to attack.

Cursing is very subtle stuff. Curses aren’t necessarily consciously cast. Anytime we desire the pain and destruction of another person for any reason, we are withholding our blessing, and are by default cursing.

Resentments and grudges do come up however, and I am not suggesting that we are supposed to just suppress our feelings and pretend like we are not feeling rage when we are feeling it.

What I am suggesting however is that when we are feeling anything other than love for people that we recognize it and bring it to Spirit to heal.

This is the ultimate magic: transformation.

When we are feeling anger toward another person, we can say “Goddess, I am really pissed of at so-and-so, and want to crush their big fat head right now. Please heal this situation. Please bring me back in harmony with your compassion. Show me what I need to do in this situation, let me know what to say in order that this situation be healed.”

We aren’t denying our rage, but we are embracing our ability to move beyond it. A curse is when the rage and desire to destroy are kept within us to fester.

Curses are psychic malignancies.

Blessing is a silent art. Just because we bless someone doesn’t mean we have to have lunch with him or her.

Blessing is not about forcing our personal wills on any situation. It is simply recognizing the people and situation before us as divine, and seeing the love at the heart of whatever is going on regardless of the drama that is being played out.

We simply access the Spirit within us and ask for its will to be done in our presence. We withdraw our preconceived notions of what is supposed to happen, or what we think we want to have happen, and allow ourselves to invoke the presence of pure love.

When we are facing a problem, and we think we have tried everything, it is very important that we ask ourselves whether or not we have given our blessing. Often this is something that we have overlooked.

I can’t count the number of times I have been in the throes of misery and the one thing I have NOT tried is asking Spirit directly to take the problem and heal it for me. Once we renounce our addiction in the pain, we are transformed.

We have shifted our plane of experience from one of cursing, to one of blessing.

There is no more simple, or more powerful magical charm in the universe than “Blessed Be.”

My Pentacle Is Bigger Than Yours!

My Pentacle Is Bigger Than Yours!

Author: Devon, The Maid Of Epona

I’ve been a practicing solitary witch for a little more than ten years. I have just recently decided to wear my pentacle openly.

Does that mean I’m out of the broom closet? Heavens no! I like to describe myself as having one foot in and the other out of the proverbial broom closet. I believe this to be the smart way to be, living where I live. Hey! Pennsylvania isn’t California!

I’m not a militant pagan although I do have a serious warrior’s streak. But being a warrior also means picking and choosing your fights. I work in the small animal business in one job and in the horse business in the other.

When working in the horse business, keeping your mouth shut about what faith you are, especially if it is an alternative faith that is greatly misunderstood by others, is the wiser way to go.

If I were to be open to everyone about my faith, it would have a detrimental effect on my career. People in the horse business would immediately assume that I was one of those “tree hugging, wackos” and I suddenly wouldn’t get hired or be able to buy or sell horses because gossip runs rampant in stables and sometimes is taken to be truer than the Bible! I also deal with many of the Amish community and I hide my pentacle out of deference to their beliefs.

So I pick and choose when and where to display my symbol of faith openly. I have also made an agreement with myself that, when I wear my pentacle openly, and someone questions my faith, then I must answer truthfully and intelligently.

I tell them that my pentacle stands for the four elements and the element of spirit. I tell them that it is a symbol of wholeness and balance, not of negativity and hatred. And its meaning cannot be twisted by reversing its direction, at least not in my eyes!

The first day I wore my pentacle, I walked about with a heightened sense of awareness, waiting for everybody to judge me. I guess I was expecting the whole world to gasp, point their fingers and declare me a witch in that tone of voice that meant nothing good. The actual reaction of people was much more subdued and confused.

Instead, the only question I had to deal with was, “I didn’t know you’re Jewish!”

Do you know how hard it is not to roll your eyes at someone and exclaim, “What? Can’t you count”?

I took a real risk this past Christmas. My husband had given me two gifts I picked out from our favorite knife catalog; an unusual knife and a pentacle decorated with red gems that I thought was pretty. So what it wasn’t silver!

Well pictures in catalogs can be deceiving!

I thought the pentacle to be modestly sized and the knife to be around the size of a Bowie knife. Well the truth was things were reversed.

The knife was the size of a pocketknife. The pentacle was big. REALLY BIG!

Try a pentacle with some serious attitude and lots of bling to the red gems on it. There was no mistaking it when I chose to wear out. It just reeled you in. Ooooh boy!

Then I decided to wear it out and obvious to a family function. Hey! It was a Christmas gift from my hubby that I still really liked in spite of the size. I wanted to show off my sparkly!

Now, not all of my family knows my religious denomination but most are aware. My parents are a blessing from the Goddess! They approve as long as I don’t go around trying to convert everybody. My brother and sister know and are open minded enough to not make a big deal about such things. My cousins even know and are cool with it.

My uncle? Well, lets just say his religious views scare me! He attends an ultra conservative church that has several ministers, several auditorium sized rooms for worship and boasts an attendance of several thousand people.

I was told to never tell my uncle what religion I was.

He was coming to the party as well.

I probably should NOT have worn the pentacle. But I did.

I also chose to disguise it with my new fashion statement, which was to wear cowboy clothes. You see, in the western horse show world, they have this design that is called a Texas star. It’s like a sheriff’s badge. Hmmm. Guess what? That’s a pentacle!

So I immediately went out and got my western show attire decorated in “Texas Stars”. I’ve got them on my hat and even my horse’s saddle and bridle sport little “pentacles”. No, I won’t wear ten million pentacles on myself but I’ll completely festoon my poor, long suffering horse with them!

Anyway, I showed up at the party with my hunka, big, new pentacle and my “Texas Star” hat. And my uncle showed up later. He looked directly at my new pentacle and then me and my newly dyed, black hair.

And then he asked if I’d had any of the steamed shrimp he brought.

I felt like I had had the rug pulled out from under me. I tried not to laugh my relief.

The pentacle was a big hit though.

Two people asked about it and my religious persuasion. I found out that they also were open-minded and we had a lovely evening chatting about esoteric things. Those conversations would have probably never happened if I hadn’t been daring enough to chance wearing it out.

But the real point of the matter is this: A pentacle, or a cross, or a Jewish star, or whatever symbol you choose to wear is nothing but a piece of jewelry unless the belief is behind it to make it more.

Those Wiccans that chose not to wear a pentacle or any other symbol of faith, does that make them any less of a Wiccan? No.

Sometimes I wear my pentacle and sometimes I wear my favorite jade horse pendant. They are both symbols of faith in my opinion and are as important to me as the cross is to someone else.

But I am not a Wiccan because I choose to wear a pentacle. I am Wiccan because that is what language my heart sings.

And no one can change what you feel in your heart. You can only choose whether or not to speak it.

Do you wear your pentacle on your skin or in your heart?

The Term “Fluffy Bunny” Must Go

The Term “Fluffy Bunny” Must Go

Author: Praxiteles

I believe that the term “fluffy bunny” is not only not useful or practical, but harmful, and that we should abandon the term.

So, why must “fluffy bunny” go? In my opinion, there are the five main reasons why:

1. The term “fluffy bunny” is itself fluffy bunny.

“Fluffy bunny” is defined variously, but the general notion is that of a person who doesn’t check their facts (or even care about ‘facts’, historical or otherwise); who accepts or dismisses something without critical thought; and who goes around spreading their dogma as if it is the one True Way. The usual example given is of someone who buys one book on the Craft, or several books but all by the same author, and takes this author’s approach and viewpoints as Gospel, and then goes around annoying the heck out of everyone else. When challenged or questioned on anything, the “fluffy bunny” can’t defend or explain their position, except with something along the lines of “because so-and-so says so.”

Now I agree that this behavior is rather unimpressive, and that “because so-and-so says so” isn’t any kind of reasoned response or valid argument. However, have you maybe noticed that the same people who throw around the “fluffy bunny” and “fluff” and “nonsense” labels the most are often the very people who can’t explain why a particular author or book or person is so bad, so “fluffy”? Instead of taking the trouble to back up their assertions with reasons and facts, they just slap on the “fluffy bunny” label and pour on the derision and contempt.

To my mind, this is type of behavior is worse than the behavior being criticized.

Labels and stereotypes are the tools of guilt, shame, manipulation, and domination. They bypass reason and consideration and go straight to an emotional level. No tyrant or demagogue has ever been able to dispense with these tools; no genocide, no atrocity, no war has ever been committed or fought without their help. They stop you from considering the people involved, from thinking of the person, the human being.

Fluffy bunny in drag isn’t any better than fluffy bunny. The website Why Wiccans Suck, for example, isn’t any more thoughtful or profound than that which it attacks. If someone hates someone or something because it is “fluffy bunny”, and when asked for an explanation why can do no better than say, “because it’s fluff and nonsense”, well then, I’m sorry, but I don’t see any essential difference between the behavior they are exhibiting and that which they are attacking.

And supposing that someone can articulate many good reasons why something is bad then why fall back on a crutch, on a label like “fluffy bunny” in the first place? Wouldn’t a paragraph or two of articulate and reasoned criticism be so much better?

2. “Fluffy Bunny” is a straw-man term.

Has anyone ever actually met a fluffy bunny, either in real life or online? Perhaps some people have, but I haven’t! Looking over the more serious definitions of what a “fluffy bunny” is, at, for example, Wicca for the Rest of Us, I can’t see that there could possibly be very many bona fide fluffy bunnies running around out there. And keep in mind that those people who are de facto fluffy bunnies due to ignorance, and who stop being such when confronted with the facts and better information, are not fluffy bunnies.

Fluffy bunnies, according to the definition, are those who ignorantly and stupidly cling to whatever they hold up on a pedestal, regardless of the facts. Now, really, how many of those people have you met?

So, why is this term so prevalent? Is it perhaps because its use makes people feel good because it implies that the user is not a fluffy bunny, is in fact a “real” Witch? A “serious” Witch? I think sometimes this may be the case, or partly the case, and this brings me to my next point:

3. “Fluffy Bunny” is manipulative and plays on the fears and desires of the inexperienced and insecure.

For the record, I include myself here. The stupidest thing I ever wrote online is when I asked for a definition of a “pop Wiccan” because “I didn’t want to be one, ” and knowing what it was would help me from becoming one. But, really, how could I know that I didn’t want to be a pop Wiccan if I didn’t actually know what a “pop Wiccan” was? I couldn’t. It was stupid. Or actually, it was insecure.

I greatly admired (and still admire) the person with whom I was talking, and wanted to avoid what she despised or dismissed. In other words, instead of thinking for myself, I wanted her to think for me. This is not what being a Witch is all about–quite the opposite–regardless of whether the opinion or position was right or wrong.

Witchcraft isn’t about having the “right” opinions, or reading the “right” books, or being taught by the “right” Coven–not if “right” is something you dogmatically and thoughtlessly accept from others.

The widespread use of the term “fluffy bunny” and terms like it, creates an atmosphere of negativity and nastiness, and this atmosphere tends to focus the attention on opinions and positions instead of on process and methods, which help develop discernment and skills.

It’s got a bunch of people out there wasting time trying to avoid being a “fluffy bunny” when they don’t even know what that really is, and could thus only accept the judgments of others on the subject, and hence perpetuate the fluffy bunniness of the term “fluffy bunny.”

Wouldn’t it be better to focus attention instead on learning and progressing? I suggest that maybe the best thing we can do is not to be afraid of being called “fluffy bunny”; not to be afraid of reading a book reputed to be “fluffy bunny”; not to care so much what others opine, but instead to care more about trying to find the truth for ourselves.

I think dialogue is good; discussion is good; considering the thoughts and reasoning of others is good; by all means engage in these activities (as we are right now). But I think that accepting labels and bald dogmatic assertions, even from those with more experience and skill, short-circuits all of these good things.

4. “Fluffy Bunny” is authoritarian.

It seems to me that those who use a label, a stereotype, like “fluffy bunny”, necessarily imply that they are an authority. They are asking you to take their word on something, unless or until they bother to explain the reasoning behind the judgment.

And, please! I am quite sure that there is always someone out there who thinks that you and your way is “fluffy bunny”; always some group ready to look down on the group looking down on a group just finding their way as best they can; always someone ready to point out what you are not, what you have not, where you are unworthy of serious consideration.

Wouldn’t it be better to just stop with all that? Don’t we have better things to do with our time than criticize and condemn and judge others and how they practice? We’re not monotheists! We have no orthodoxy to defend; no Tradition to keep pure and untainted. Can’t we instead use all of that extra energy to strive all the harder to live and practice to the best of our ability?

5. It will hurt your magick.

Or at least it did me. I have found that contempt and disrespect is not something that will enamor my Younger Self to my Talking-head Self. Contempt is spiritual and magickal poison in my experience. It goes hand in hand with skepticism and snobbery.

Obviously, this is only my experience. Test things out (if you haven’t already) and see for yourself. Try for a day, or for 8 hours, to bend your mind to the good in people and situations. Do not indulge in contemptuous or belittling thoughts towards others or yourself. Now cast a circle or do a pathworking or LBRP, or whatever practices you do, and see if you notice a difference. Perhaps you will find that it is easier to reach ritual or magickal states of consciousness. I certainly do.

But, don’t get me wrong here. You don’t have to go around fooling yourself into believing everyone is an avatar of perfection. You don’t have to check your discernment at the door. You just have to avoid holding others in contempt.

So those are my reasons. Perhaps you found them interesting and worth reading, or perhaps not. But either way, I do understand the problems and frustrations behind the widespread use of the term “fluffy bunny.”

I understand that there are plenty of people out there playing at being Witches; dabbling, posturing, looking for instant gratification, and I understand that many serious Witches are concerned that these people drag things down to a lower level and give Witchcraft a bad name, and so on.

I do understand that.

What I don’t understand is why we give them so much thought, and even a stereotype, when instead we could have given their opposite as much or more thought, and held it up as a shining ideal.

Fluffy bunnies are, after all, immune to criticism by definition, right?

In my opinion, it’s better to show what you think is the way forward, and the ideal, than to waste time and thought on where you do not want to go, on what you do not want to be. People will scatter from the latter in every direction. But people will go towards the former from every direction.

So shouldn’t we think about abandoning the term “fluffy bunny” and focus on the opposite?

How about the “sleek raccoon” or something?

Paganism and Morality

Paganism and Morality

Author: Morgan Ravenwood

In a previous article I wrote entitled “The Joys and Pitfalls of Pagan Parenting, ” I repeated what my then-teenaged daughter, “Jane, ” said to me in response to my attempts to keep her on the “straight and narrow”: “But, mom, it’s not like you’re a religious Christian or something!”

I spent the rest of our conversation trying to explain why you don’t have to be a Christian to be religious and to believe in—and practice—leading a decent life. Fortunately, time and maturity has proven this to Jane, who now has three children of her own to teach it to.

In some of the online discussion boards I belong to, it has been mentioned repeatedly that many people believe that morality needs religion—and preferably the Christian religion–to exist, and vice versa. Of course, both myself and others, including some Atheists, have hastened to explain that this is in no wise true, presenting our own personal points of view and experiences as proof.

However, a member of one of the boards recently posed a question that demands an answer, both to ourselves as well as the outside world:

“So that we may learn how to properly judge those of other religious persuasions, specifically how are Wiccans and Pagans and Atheists supposed to behave in accordance with their beliefs?

How do we know when they are being true to their religious ideals, and when they are being hypocrites?”

A fair question, especially given that neither Pagans nor Atheists have the words of a prophet or set scriptures to govern their behavior. While I cannot speak for Atheists, where Paganism is concerned, it’s understandable that members of mainstream religions would find it odd, not to mention immoral, that some Pagans perform their rituals “skyclad”—i.e., in the nude–and even participate in what might be considered to be immoral sexual behavior, including homosexuality and polyamory (which simply means “more than one” lover).

The fact that there is no stigma attached to these in Paganism only reinforces this belief.

It is a sad fact that Pagan parents have had their children removed from their custody once their religion becomes public knowledge because Paganism has so often received a negative reputation as a religion with little to no morality.

In view of this, we are almost obligated to try to demonstrate as strong a behavioral standard as possible so as to build and retain integrity for our religion.

While we’ve probably all met a few “Happy Nekkid Pagans” with seemingly looser morals than most, the majority of Pagans I have known have led far more moral lives than many of their Christian counterparts.

I believe that this is due to the fact that some Christians are really only “Sunday Christians, ” named so because they crawl to church on Sunday and feign repentance, only to resume their evil ways on Monday.

But for us Pagans, it’s a little different; we consider ourselves to be “24/7 Pagans” because our own sense of honor and personal responsibility prohibits us from behaving in such a cavalier manner.

And what is the source of this personal responsibility, since it does not depend upon the threat of punishment from an angry god or a feeling of obligation to obey scriptures? I think the basic answer can be summed up quite nicely in three words: The Golden Rule. You know, the one that says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

The wording of this has been slightly changed but retains the same meaning in our own Wiccan Rede, which the majority of Wiccans DO adhere to: “An it harm none, do what thou will.”

To do any differently would be to harm oneself if one believes, as most Pagans do, that we are all part of each other as well as the earth. Think how wonderful the world would be if everyone practiced this for even one day!

Also, it is worth noting that some Pagan traditions, which are similar to Christian denominations, have their own set of guidelines that members are expected to follow. Though they are certainly not binding to ALL Pagans, nor do all of them adhere to them, The Thirteen Goals of a Witch, especially numbers one and four through seven, give very good guidelines for ethical behavior:

The Thirteen Goals of a Witch

1) Know Thyself

2) Know Thy Craft

3) Learn, Knowledge is Power

4) Apply Knowledge with Wisdom

5) Achieve balance in your life and everything around you

6) Keep your words in good order – negativity breeds negativity –

7) Keep your thoughts in good order

8) Celebrate life and all the stages of it

9) Attune with the cycles of the Earth and Moon

10) Breathe and eat correctly

11) Exercise the body as well as the spirit

12) Meditate everyday

13) Honor the Goddess and God

It is worth remarking that many of these mirror the behavioral guidelines as set out in the Eightfold Path of Buddhism, which does not carry the stigma of immorality that Paganism does. Yet another Eastern faith belief of importance to Pagans is Karma—that which you do, comes back to you.

Many Wiccans adhere to this belief, but with one notable difference: that which you do, comes back to you—THREEFOLD. Whether or not this is true, the reality of “cause and effect” is indisputable, which certainly prompts some serious consideration in making important decisions, particularly those that concern other people.

Another area in which most Pagans strongly attempt to behave responsibly is preservation of the environment. In these days, especially with a government and national population that are less concerned about preservation and more with maximum utilization, this is no easy task. And yet, believing as we do that the earth is our Mother, we each owe it to Her to do our share. Recycling, composting, and making responsible decisions about using products that are harmful to the environment are all things we can do as individuals.

Lastly, in the “Charge of the Goddess, ” which quite thoroughly lays out recommendations for responsible and moral behavior, Doreen Valiente wrote these words, which are dear to the hearts of the many Wiccans who aspire to live by them:

“Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you, ” and “keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever towards it, let naught stop you or turn you aside.”

Surely, nobody of ANY persuasion, religious or otherwise, could aspire to any higher goals than these.


Footnotes:
This article has previously been published on The Wiccan-Pagan Times website.

The Unfinished Journey .. The Best Is Yet To Come ?

The Unfinished Journey .. The Best Is Yet To Come ?

Author: Crystal Crone

As I sat in the quiet of my sitting room last week, my mind drifted back over the years of my earth journey. I wondered to myself if this could be because I was now comfortably at ease in my life as the ageing crone. I tried to shake myself out of my mauling by focusing on all the things that were pressing my mind for attention.

Dinner lay uncooked on the kitchen unit, birthday cards lay unwritten on the table, and my journal had thrust itself under my nose as I had gone to my cupboard for candles, as if crying out for attention. Well, dinner can wait until I am good and ready, the pen is not my exclusive right in this house full of people and so what if I hadn’t made an entry in my journal for four days!

No one would know that except me and as nothing ritualistic or momentous had happened during those days, why should I worry?

Now old girl, I thought wryly, is this you doing what you said would never happen and kicking back against this ageing process you have found so comfortable? I soon made up my mind that there was far more going on than this!

Life for Pagans is fairly disciplined by the very nature of our beliefs and for me to slip outside of what is the norm for me is both unusual and quite a shock to this fragile system.

So with all this in mind, I took myself off to the chopping board to redesign what was to have been a heartily cooked meal, to a hastily prepared salad. All the while my mind was ticking over, trying to establish what was going on here and why the rebel I never knew existed, was pushing its way to the front of my mind in an effort to be heard.

I hope I can be believed when I say that my life as a crone has never held any fears or regrets for me. In fact, I have never really noticed the transition in many ways as, following the passing of my daughter, I became both substitute mum and nan to my grandchildren. I guess there has never been time to notice those lines forming on smooth skin, or the vision that seemed slightly impaired, or the feet that ached at the end of a long day.

No, in all honesty my life seems to stretch down the years with fun, laughter, discipline of devotion and of course, tears of loss from my life of those who were part of me.

Thinking all this, I banged the hastily prepared salad onto plates (just to make it look as if some thought had gone into the preparation really) and returned to my chair in my now sun bathed sitting room, to mull over these new and disturbing thoughts in my head.

My long journey hasn’t always been easy, or even good in parts, but is has been mine to make. Along the path, I have met many people who have left their mark on my life, made a few mistakes, or errors of judgment had one or two regrets to I guess. Being me, I have never really focused on my destination (if you but knew my ability to get lost on a journey I may have made many times before, you would understand why that is :)), but my journey has been very important to me in terms of personal life satisfaction. I never ever got everything I tried to do right … why should I have done so, I am mortal after all, not some divine creature.

So with this in mind, I got to thinking about life in general and the world in particular!

To say it has changed beyond belief since I was a child is to state the obvious. After all, many rivers and streams have run under proverbial bridges since that time of old! I guess that the safest thing to say is that changes came, I complained, or rejoiced, as the case may be, that so much change was surely unnecessary, then continued to walk my path in a way that suited me and my way of life best.

I was always mindful of cause and effect, always as careful as I could be that my actions did not impact in a negative way, on the lives of others. Mostly, I was able to live as maiden, mother, and now crone, according to my own will.

I have had blessings, to many to recount, these were no doubt balanced in some way by my losses, which were fewer, but raw to my soul. I have reveled at Sabbats, danced at celebrations, performed my rituals and spells with honor and devotion and tried to point young seekers of paths to where the knowledge, or help, for their intent lies. All very satisfying one might think, so why this sudden departure from the norm, to the world of the ageing rebel?

Does this happen in the lives of everyone approaching a time in their lives when the end of the road is far more visible in the distance than the beginning ever was? And why is it that I had never given any thought to this before, I wondered?

As I grappled around my mind for something to blame for these phenomena (the human side of me looking to blame something again), I was consumed by laughter that bordered on hysteria almost! Of course this time will come upon all who are walking the path of life toward end destination, I was willing to bet that each and every one had reached the same impasse as I at some stage to.

The revelation it was to me to finally acknowledge the end destination should not have been the cause of my hysterical laughter for sure, so from that I had to assume that it must be my blessed peace that awaited me in the Summerlands, or that the “rebel” had been born, so to speak. I decided it was neither … I am as yet unprepared for journey’s end and nor am I about to rebel against that which has formed the foundations of my life.

My bemused sister, returning from a hard day at work, looked at me with something in her face close to an intention to call on the men in white coats, bearing a straight jacket. It took a very hastily thought up explanation to allay the fear I saw in her eyes for sure!

After she and the children had feasted on my oh so carefully prepared salad, we sat and spoke about the way she had found me when she came in from work. She has four years to catch up to this day in my life and I would like that she, or anyone else that may come to this, will realize as I did that it isn’t negative to think journey’s end, especially if you have tried to fill your life with all you wanted to do.

Being human, we will always find things we would like to have done, there will be many things we will wish we had thought more carefully before we did, but at end stage it was our journey to make whatever.

I can’t say this world is a good place to be; who could with all the abuse we make of the precious gift the Mother gave us to care for. People are feared for their safety as fundamental Islamists attempt to impose by terror, their beliefs on others who want nothing more than the freedom and peace to follow whatever faith they choose believe in.

Our wildlife is threatened by climate change and civil liberties we always took for granted are stripped away at an alarming rate these days. But even with all that, we live in a world that is so precious, we can choose to learn or not, we can follow a path we choose for ourselves because we are basically all spiritual beings living a human existence. This ageing crone has many of years of devotions under her belt (well maybe a skirt as the waistline has not been compatible with belts for some time now :)), so I am prepared to listen in reflective silence these days.

The people I have met have been there for a reason, a season and hopefully, many for a lifetime. I have hopped on and off “the bus of life” many times on my journey … on occasion I would have to be dragged back on board kicking and screaming, but all in all it has been good for me and mine.

I would say to young Pagan pathwalkers that if the experiences of an old crone count for anything, it is to say that the future lies in their hands now. There is much to be done, many voices to be heard, the young amongst us are our hope for the future. They must never forget that the best of learning comes from the voice of experience, so the elders amongst us must be heeded as they draw on those experiences.

But they are the absolute future.

We who travel on to journey’s end will do what we are able to save for them the wonders of our precious world, as we draw on their youth and strength to give power to our tasks yet to do.

The Mother never said it would be easy, no bump free ride was ever promised, but she did give us gifts in life that were ours to use, or not.

As I said, I have met many learned people who have inspired and enlightened me; I have thought at times that I know all the answers because of my age. I know now that we are never meant to have all the answers and that is not to be regretted, but rejoiced in, as it means that the best may still be yet to come.

My heart tells me that it is, even if the signs are not so good at this precarious time for our planet.

I wish all, Pagan or otherwise, a journey without fear, a life full of fun, laughter and adventure with the promise that age is interesting and not at all as bad as it may seem. For myself, I will journey on in the same manner I have lived my whole life, the destination may be over the horizon, but I have far to much to do to approach it willingly.

After all, I shall become a great grandmother of yet another soul needing the loving arms of this old crone I feel :).

The Herban Corner – For Your Health

The Herban Corner – For Your Health

 
Insomnia – Chamomile is a very soothing tea to put you to sleep if you’re having trouble in that area. And a magickal remedy is to take garden violet, put it in a silver bag under your pillow, and then lay back and wait for the desired effect: sleep. Dill and dandelion also work on insomnia. Orange and passion flower are other plants that take away the sleeplessness you experience. Primrose and rosemary also may be used in a tea to take away your insomnia but I prefer that you put shavings from a white birch into a white muslin bag and wear it around your neck, or place it under your pilow. You should doze off almost immediately. Wild morjoram and sweet marjoram may be made into teas, too, and you may wish to make a poultice of lettuce and hops and mother of thyme to cover your eyes. Sleep should be induced soon after applying it.
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Relieving Facial Tension – Every night before you go to sleep, sit in your bed and start making faces — just as small children enjoy doing, make all kinds of faces, good, bad, ugly, beautiful, so the whole face and the musculature start moving. Make sounds — nonsense sounds will do — and sway, just for ten to fifteen minutes and then go to sleep.
 
In the morning, before you take your bath, again stand before the mirror and for ten minutes make faces. Standing before the mirror will help: you will be able to see and you will be able to respond
 
Excerpted From Elizabeth Pepper, The Witches’ Almanac, Ltd.

Spell Of The Day – Better Homelife Spell

Spell Of The Day – Better Homelife Spell

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The home is the place where we relax, recharge, and nourish our health so we can do good work in the outside world. Often it is also where we find important relationships with our friends and family. When our home life is not going well, it is hard to stay grounded and it is harder to feel good in our hearts. During a Cancer Full Moon, we can create a better home environment through magical workings. For this spell, you will need to enlist all of your housemates to make a meal together. Gather a small amount of lemon balm and dill (both Cancer herbs), and a couple of blue candles to put on your dinner table. When cooking the meal, add the spices to the pot and say these words while stirring them in:

I add these spices to the meal,
Let our home mend and heal.
Bring us love and bring us peace,
May our hearts be at ease.

 

Now sit down for a meal with your housemates, and light your blue candles to symbolize the watery Cancer Moon. Reconnecting over a good meal helps develop a good atmosphere at home.

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By: Jonathan Keyes