I wanted to leave you with something to think about

Good Afternoon Pictures, Images, Comments, Graphics

Before I run off into the unknown Abyss, I wanted to leave you with something to think about. I received a phone call this after from a legitimate company wanting to do a commercial on The WOTC. The reason I know they are legitimate, they called the house yesterday. I didn’t have time to get to the phone, so I looked them up on the net to see who they where. Anyway right now, I am blown away to say the least!

The lady that called gave me a few details, just a few because Kiki won’t quit barking. She is supposed to call back tomorrow and show me what this company has to offer. She did say the video commercial would be played on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. That is what they mostly do is commercial for YouTube. I told her that the WOTC wasn’t a business. She in turn said she believed there was a market out there for what we have to offer. She also gave me a price for the video, which right now doesn’t sound that bad, $99.00. I will have to wait to see what we get for our money.

Anyway, to me this is fantastic. We start our Ribbon Campaign to get our message out and this happens. You know this seems like one of those blessings in disguise. I know it is my mission to see that the truth about Witchcraft and the Goddess is finally revealed. I don’t know if there are any that share this same committment or not. But I certainly hope so. To pull this off and get more circulation and our word out there, this is the way to go. It would absolutely be fantastic. I still can’t believe it someone wants to make a commercial about the WOTC <grinning from ear to ear>. But to make this happen, we would need some donations. You have no idea how bad I hate to ask you for a donation. But to fulfill the dreams we have for the upcoming year, I have too.

Right now, nothing is set in stone. I just want you to think about this. And if at all possible and I think this would be in our best interest, possibly make a donation. I know people think of huge amounts when it comes to donations. But that is not true, every penny counts. So I might be pulling out my couch’s cushions, lol! But please, seriously think about this.

I will keep you up-dated on what is going on.

Till then….

Luv & Hugs,

Lady A

The Dragon Altar

The Dragon Altar

An altar can be any table, chest or microwave cart that is large enough and of a comfortable height to stand and do magic. If you find it impossible to stand during ritual, choose an altar that is a comfortable height while you sit. Colored scarves coordinated to the elements of various dragons can be used to cover the altar. For magicians who are hampered in movement, whether by a broken leg, physical disability, or confinement to a wheelchair, do not despair. Sit at your altar and visualize yourself going through each moving step of the ritual as if you were physically doing it. I known one magician who, while flat in bed for a time, meticulously visualized her way through rituals and got excellent results, although she was unable to do so much as light a candle.

To illuminate the altar, use a black candle on the left end and a white candle on the right. A knowledgeable magician knows that using black candles is not evil magic. The color black is merely the opposite of white; it balances the energies. If you feel you cannot use black, use a very dark blue, purple or indigo.

However, if you do have an aversion to the color black, it signals a need for you to do some intense work on the programming you have accumulated in your subconscious mind. All of us have, at one time or another, received and accepted undesirable programming from others, whether it be from parents, teachers, friends, colleagues, a religious group or simply society in general. Unfortunately, much of this programming is give to us at a very impressionably age when we are not aware enough to reject it. What we acquire at an older age is accepted because we want to fit with a special group, et. Although it take determined effort to undo this programming, it can be done.

Designing Labyrinths

Designing Labyrinths

 

 

Labyrinths can be complex or as simple as a rock spiral. The rock spiral can be a simple as a widely spaced line of small stones that curves inward until a center is reached, rather like the design of a snail’s shell. The best way to provide for a working center is to first establish a circular space big enough to stand and move around in; center this over a power spot if you are fortunate enough to find one. Surround this center with a border of rocks, leaving an opening on one side. Then curve your spiral path out from this at least three times around the center. Be sure that the path is wide enough to comfortably walk in. Make the path turn clockwise.

In the very center of the spiral, you can place a flat stone. It does not have to be very large. Whenever you find such a stone, before placing it within your power area, cleanse it with a bath of salt and water. This flat stone can do double duty as an altar and also to stand or sit upon when you are working within your sacred space. There are some human-constructed flat stones used for facing buildings that work quite well. Stay away from plastics. Several bricks set up in a square or oblong pattern can be substituted; however, they are not very good at conducting energy into your body. The real stones can become power-sinks in their own right, drawing in and storing Earth dragon power or even the power produced by repeated rituals.

Much more elaborate labyrinths can be formed if you first plan them out on paper, but I cannot say they are any more effective than the simpler design. One side effect of such a spiral is an improvement of the atmospheric vibrations thought the immediate neighborhood, as well as on your own property.

Circle of stones will work in the same manner, especially if they are built over lines of dragon power. In Circles, Groves & Sanctuaries(Llewellyn 1993), Dan and Pauline Campanelli wrote of a man who built a wooden henge, as in Stonehenge, in his yard. This circular structure would work on the same principle as a stone circle or labyrinth.

Although the mere laying out of the spiral or circular rock pattern will activate and center the dragon’s breath energy, you might want to specifically tie it to your own energy vibrations. This can be done with a simple welcoming ritual. Using your staff, walk along the spiral path into the center. Take with you a small gift of herbs. If you have laid out a circle, choose one particular direction to use as a consistent entrance place. Stand in the center facing north and tape the ground three times with the staff, saying;

Arise, O breath of dragon.

Fill this land with goodness.

Bless me and mine with your positive energies,

And repel all those who wish to harm in any form,

I welcome all dragons who come to this place of power.

May we work in harmony and in love.

May this sacred spot become a haven of centeredness,

A refuge that revitalizes,

A door that leads to Otherworld knowledge.

May your power become one with mine (kneel and

Touch the ground with palm of your hand).

That I, my family, my community, my country, the

World,

May become whole and healthy again.

 

 

Tap the staff three times on the ground. Sprinkle the gift of herbs about your center space. Exit the circle or spiral with dignity and thanksgiving, knowing you have begun a neighborhood change in vibrations for the better.
Sometimes you will find a house or building that sits on a line of dragon’s breath energy. Some of the older houses that exude an atmosphere or either welcome or repulsion are often situated on such lines. Disembodied spirits or ghosts are frequently seen in these building, and not just by psychics. If the energy stream is a positive one, the ghosts will not be troublesome. However, if the sits over a black stream, one finds poltergeist activity, malicious ghosts, and a general set of negative vibrations that harass the family living there. It may be that these ghosts are trapped by the negative energy flow or that they use it to boost their own power.

I rented such a negatively situated house once and never was able to stake the energy line right or get rid of the hateful ghost who stayed there. One of the two stairways in that house was always as cold as the inside of a freezer, even on the hottest days of the year. The evil that was felt on that stairway made everyone, even nonbelieving visitors avoid going that way. I found out that forty years before, a teen-aged boy had died in the room at the top of the stairs. What his reasons were for staying on after death, I do not know, but the noises, evil feelings and trouble he caused were unwelcome. No renters stayed for any length of time.

Tracing flows of “dragon energy” is an excellent exercise for strengthening your psychic energy. The vibration of such power is quite similar to that felt when dragons are in the vicinity, so it helps the magician become familiar with the feeling of arriving dragons. Best of all, it is just plain, inexpensive fun.

“Dancing with Dragons”

D. J. Conway

Ritual Tools and Dragon Magick

Ritual Tools and Dragon Magick

 

Every sincere, dedicated magician is always searching for new ways to amplify her/his magical powers so that her/his manifestations will be more accurate and consistent. Using the elemental-type power of dragons to help in your rituals is an excellent method of increasing the flow of energy within the cast circle.

There are certain ritual tools that you will find helpful for dragon magic. If you are already practicing magic, you will have some of them. If you are just beginning to work in magic, acquire your tools slowly and with care. Tools do not have to be elaborate or expensive to work magic. For example, I have never found that a little silver wand (these are really expensive!) could do more than a piece of dowel lovingly decorated by the magician. And the tools do not have to be acquired at once or before you can start your magical workings.

If you budget does not allow any purchases at the moment, do not put off beginning your practice of dragon magic. Start off with the kitchen table or the nightstand in the bedroom as an altar. One white candle in a fireproof holder is better than none; however, if you cannot have a candle, substitute an electric candle or small light. A paring knife will work as a ritual dagger for carving script onto the candle. A pleasant cologne or aftershave can become an emergency incense. A glass can be chalice. Use your imagination and inventiveness until you can manifest enough prosperity to purchase better tools. Ritual manifestations have been successful with some of the most outlandish equipment in a pinch. But it does work better and more efficiently when you have special ritual tools. I think this has to do with budding magician’s subconscious mind and the development of the magical personality.

Dragon’s Breath in the Earth

Dragon’s Breath in the Earth

 
 
Many of the old legends speak of killing the dragon. Sometimes, the real meaning of this term is clarified when one is told that the dragon continued to live. Of course, if you are reading Christianized stories of dragons, the dragon is always killed by a faithful saint or hero; this is a less than subtle reference to Christianity “killing” Paganism. But a great many of the legends were in existence long before Christians came along; therefore the term “killing” must mean something far different than destroying your religious rivals.
 
If you look at ancient Egyptian paintings of Horus and his Sun Boat sailing over Apep, sometimes called Apophis, serpent of the Underworld and the dead or winter season, and read the ancient stories of these daily and seasonal voyages, you become aware that the word “killing” has another meaning. The picture show the God Set “staking” or guiding Apep by a series of rods driven into the ground. A similar practice is still used to control or change the Earth’s energy in certain areas of the world in the belief that out-of-control dragon energy adversely affects humans, crops, animals and the land in general.
 
The Chinese emphasized the importance of controlling the “dragon’s breath” in architecture and landscape. This is still a respected belief in Hong Kong and other places having Chinese communities. There are professionals adept at finding imbalances of the dragon’s breath, and they are in demand, not only by home owners, but by businessmen. If a series of unexplained illnesses or misfortunes strike a business, for instance, the owner will go though the ordinary procedure to discover the cause. If there is nothing found, or nothing appears to alleviate the problem, he will send for a person skilled in detecting a disruption of dragon’s breath; this person is called a Feng-shui diviner.
 
A visit to the premises is made. This Feng-shui diviner sometimes uses a special magnetic compass that has as many as 38 concentric rings around the needle. Each ring is divided into special traditional measurements of space and time. The diviner takes sightings along what are called the vains of the dragon. These veins are raised features of the landscape, such as trees, rocks, watercourses, valleys, etc. Within buildings, the diviner considers such things as doorways, halls, the directions of corners, and so on. Any recommendation made by the diviner are implemented with great seriousness. If possible a small garden, aligned in certain ways, is made outside for the dragons of the region. Inside a shine is placed in a particular corner or area to accommodate the reigning draconic being. Dragon images are placed in both the garden and the shrine to honor the dragon, and also to remind it of its good fortune to be recognized and given respect by the human residnets.

Dragon Fire

Dragon Fire

 
 
Almost all dragons breathe out a type of energy we humans call fire. This fire-breathing from the nose and mouth was and is usually employed as a warning or a protective measure. However, there are a number of stories of dragons who, after being hunted and/or provoked to extremes, burned up all the houses and crops of a town as punishment and a warning to leave them alone.
 
A great many dragons are attracted by physical fire, which produces a form of energy. Burning candles in a ritual way is certain to attract dragons. If the magician does not have the time, opportunity or energy to perform a complete dragon ritual, candle burning is a quick, effective form of magick. It is the quickest ritual to learn and to do.
 
Do not become lazy, however, and substitute candle burning for every magickal occasion. If you are new to the field of magick, begin with candle burning and work up to the other, more involved rituals. A good magician constantly seeks to expand his/her field of knowledge and expertise.
 
This is a candle burning ritual using dragon magick. To increase the potency of the candle, time the burning to the correct lunar and/or solar phases. For increasing and obtaining desires, burn during daylight or the waxing Moon (from after the New Moon until the Full Moon), with the Full Moon being strongest. For banishing or cursing, burn during evening hours of the waning Moon (from after the Fulll Moon until the New Moon), with the New Moon being strongest.
 
A cast circle is not imperative with this ritual. Choose appropriately colored stones to draw the attention of the dragons with which you desire to work: arrange them about the altar. With your ritual dagger, carve your exact wishes on the candle. Dragon script is very good for this, but if it proves too difficult to carve into the wax, use your ordinary language. Then anoint the candle with an appropriate oil. For moving something away from you, anoint from the end up to the wick. For obtaining something, anoint from the wick down to the end. To further strengthen the spell, roll the candle in crushed herbs chosen to further correspond to the spellworking. Either tapers or votive candles can be used.
 
To further concentrate the appropriate power into a candle burning, make a wide circle of your robe-cord around the candle on the altar. For safety, choose a metal or non-flammable holder and set it in a safe place.
 
With your wand, circle the candle three times clockwise for increasing magick (three times counterclockwise for decreasing magick). Hold the dragon pentacle facing the candle and say:
 
Draconis! Draconis!Draconis! Hear my call.
Three times I hail You, Listen, All!
This candle’s flame is like Your fire.
Dragons, bring my heart’s desire.
Dragon Power, come to me!
Hear my words. So Mote It Be.
Draconis! Draconis!Draconis!
 
If you have been given a dragon’s name and particularly want to call upon him/her, use this name instead of the word “Draconis” at the end of the Call in this ritual.
 
Visualize the dragon power and fire streaming from the dragon pentacle and entering the candle. After several moments, light the candle. For the fullest benefit, the candle should be allowed to burn completely out after the ritual is ended.

Power Spots

Power Spots

 
 
Power spots range in size from fairly small to large enough to lie in, can be anywhere. Sitting on or within such an area is a great aid for meditation or simply contacting your dragon allies. The radiating power amplifies a magician’s ability to make contact with the astral.
 
There are many such power spots, well-known in Europe and beginning to be recognized in the U.S.A. One such large spot with which I have had personal experience is the Oregon Vortex. Although you first must go through the area with a guided tour, you are allowed to freely look about afterwards. Some people find they cannot tolerate the energy fields within the Vortex; they get headaches or nausea. I experimented with a crystal pendulum there and had strange but wonderful results. At first the pendulum refused to move at all. It merely hung straight down and quivered; this quivering was visible as well as being strongly felt all through my arm. When I stuck my arm in through the open window of the old assay shack, the pendulum came back in a straight line nearly touching my arm. It stayed in that position until I withdrew my hand from the window. At no time could I get the pendulum to move normally within the Vortex area. However, as soon as we left, it worked as it always does.
 
At one time, power spots in the U.S.A. were probably well-known by the Native Americans. Since these peoples rarely built permanent structures on these sites, there is no way to readily recognize them, as we can in Britain where stone circle and monoliths, not to mention ancient Christian churches, cover the landscape. Machu Picchui in South America is such a power spot, as are Mount Shasta and Mount Tamalpais in California.
 
I plan to study further on the connection between dragons and these power spots and energy lines. I know that dragons can be seen either within the spots themselves or moving along the lines. They tend to be particularly visible at night. It is not uncommon for people to see “ghosts” in connection with these places. I assume they are seeing both disembodied and astral entities, with the dragons being mistaken for ghosts. Few people take the time or effort to discriminate. Most people are programmed with too much fear of the subject.
 
Dragons use the projected power of these energy lines and spots, probably in much the same way they do energy given off by rituals. Having an energy line in your back yard is not a prerequisite for dragon magick, but you may discover that you find a disruption of flow. If you do find what you think is a black stream, consider whether you have trouble growing plants within or near that area. Do animals and people avoid that spot in favor of other places in the yard? Have you had difficulties with Earth slippage or unusually swampy ground? Do you just feel uncomfortable in that area? Be very careful about designating such a place as a disrupted power line until you are more familiar with the idea, because first contacts with dragon’s breath can give you some very strange sensations.

If you decide that there definitely is a disrupted line of energy, you can take active steps to help correct it. A few carefully placed stakes, whether wood or iron, can change the atmosphere in such conditions. If you have underground water or other utility lines, be very careful about driving stakes anywhere near them. If you decide to use iron rods, do not go anywhere near them during a thunderstorm; they are capable of acting like lightning rods! Take your time deciding about staking, though, because you do not want to worsen any possible existing problem. And use a lot of forethought before you do any major excavation or dirt moving, even though you do not detect an existing break in the power flow.
 
If you locate dragon energy lines on your property, you can guide the energy into a central place much as the ancient did by laying out a simple spiral pattern with rocks. Even if you think you do not have such energy steams, a rock patterned spiral may very well collect energy and concentrate that power into its center.

“Dancing with Dragons”
D.J. Conway

SEEKING THE SIGN TO DRAGONHEIM

SEEKING THE SIGN TO DRAGONHEIM

Mighty wings once carved the cumulus

sowing storm filled clouds and reaping rain.

Soaring, we bounded the radius

of the peak crowned heights of our domain.

How long is the road to Dragonheim?

The length of a dreamer’s call.

How number the miles to Dragonheim?

It is none, I say, and all.

And the sky roared when touched by our flames

it sang to words wrought in fume and smoke.

Firey visions dwelt within the names

of numberless tribes of dragon folk.

Where winds the path to Dragonheim?

Hidden in a name; a secret sound.

Where stands the entrance to Dragonheim?

In the place never lost, though seldom found.

Majestic mountains once housed our young

born from crystal eggs that caught the light.

In strong shadowed heights our dwellings hung

ne’er crossed by the foes who feared our might.

What shapes the trail to Dragonheim?

A maze of dreams, pointing streight.

How travels the way to Dragonheim?

On paths of heart, devoid of hate.

Now the lands are gone, scourged by the ire

of the modern day people’s decree.

But spirits live on, look to the fires.

You must catch our souls to set us free.

In what age stands the halls of Dragonheim?

Time beyond time, between the worlds.

Where dwell the inhabitants of Dragonheim?

They smile as your spirits soar and curl.

** – J.A. Bordeaux (Steorra Rokraven) , 17 Feb 89

InterVisioN “The ParaNormal Connection” 603-547-6485 HST

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Witches’ Protection Bottle Spell

Witches’ Protection Bottle Spell

Get a glass jar such as a Mason jar, or even a baby food jar, anything that has a lid to it. Fill the jar halfway with small sharp objects such as pins, metal scrapings, broken glass, razor blades, etc. Be careful when you are filling the jar! Once the jar is half full with these objects, fill the jar up with a holy water mixture of salt and water.

Put the top on the jar and be sure it’s secured.

This jar should be buried in the ground at least twelve inches deep.
As long as the bottle remains in the ground, you will be protected from harm that is sent your way. If you bury the jar somewhere away from home, and you wont know if it will still be there in a year (City Witches don’t always have backyards), then be sure to repeat this process each year.

Special Kitty of the Day for February 22nd

Betty, the Cat of the Day
Name: Betty
Age: Ten years old
Gender: Female
Kind: Cat
Home: Los Angeles, California, USA
Iwould like to introduce my cat, “Betty Crocker, Sweet Talker.” There is no one like Betty, a.k.a. Teeny Weeny Tortellini Butterbeany Weeny Teen! From the minute I got her ten years ago as a tiny foundling at four weeks of age, she has had a personality like no other cat I have ever known. Curiosity is her middle name … there’s no place she won’t explore, no cat tree too high, no door too closed to want to see what is at the other side of it – and no bowl she won’t plop herself into to gaze up lovingly at her Mom.

She is a true scamp who keeps all the other cats young. She is fearless – running to the door to greet whomever is knocking, caroming onto their shoulder for a pat, then flying up the stairs to race around like a maniac, before settling in for a good tussle with poor, beleaguered Peach who tolerates her with his paternal good nature. After a few minutes of that, they both settle down in each other’s arms for a much-needed nap:).

Betty has a million different ways to alert us to her presence: either crawling onto the bed to curl up on one of her sleeping siblings, leaping onto my back as I lean into the refrigerator, or sprawling like a boneless chicken on the back of the couch. Her favorite part of the day is when I put on my face cream in the morning — up leaps Betty onto the dresser to lick my face clean… I look like an old bat, but Betty looks as youthful as the day she was born! LOL! Her other favorite pastime is shrimp… on those special occasions when I decide to treat the family to seafood, Betty is the first one at the food bowls when she hears me call “Shrimp, shrimp…who wants shrimp?”.

She has enriched all of our lives with her incredible personality, there is no one who doesn’t love and adore Betty. I was blessed the day I found her, and she gives me and the family ineffable joy. What a treasure is our Betty, she is one in a billion!

Dog-gone of the Day for February 22nd

Figi, the Dog of the Day
Name: Figi
Age: Three years old
Gender: Male Breed: Bichon Frise
Home: Malvern, Arkansas, USA
Figi is a rescued Bichon Frise who is about three years old. He lives in Malvern, Arkansas, and Figi is special because he is my best friend. He is my furry clown. He is the four legged man of my dreams . He is a rescue dog who rescued me. I was lonely and he makes me laugh. Figi is always full of kisses and happy to greet you.His personality is wonderful. In general, he is a tame relaxed pooch! He maxed his temperament test to volunteer. He is a volunteer for pet therapy. Figi dresses up and wears clothes everywhere we go.

As for tricks, besides the standard ones, he knows two uncommon ones: “hide!” If you are carrying a sack with him inside of it; tell him to hide, he goes to the bottom so no one knows he is there. And “Look for fleas:” he will lay across a pillow with his legs wide open for you to look for fleas. He is very dependent on me and I on him!

About his name, his rescue group, Care of Arkansas, said he was named Newton. I didn’t like it so it was between Sir Isaac and Fig. I know I was never going to call a dog Sir Isaac so I came up with Fig Newton but he is called Figi

Have You Ever Seen Real Magic? I Have!

Have You Ever Seen Real Magic? I Have!

Author: MoonChild

I was raised a very good Christian, I looked very hard trying to find the right faith, problem was, I was only looking inside the Christian faith. I went from Church to Church looking, but always finding things wrong with their belief. I even became a good Jehovah’s Witness, a very high-ranking one at that. I am a certified minister in one, and ordained in another.

I have been married going on thirty-four years, with my wife going along with me on the search for the right faith. About ten years ago my wife started reading Wiccan books, and slowly became a Wiccan. Needless to say, this was hard on our marriage, and if not for the “for better or worse” thing, we may have split. I thought I could bring her back into the faith, which one I was still unsure, but one of Christian faiths that was right, as soon as I found it.

I began to see a real peace come over her, “It must be that damn devil!” I thought. She told me little bits and pieces, I pretended not to care, and I acted like I was not lessening, but I was.

This was the first, but not the last, magic I saw. We had lived in a small travel trailer for over four and a half years on some land we owned and planned to build on one day, but we never seemed to get ahead enough.

My wife told me she was going to do a spell to get us a place. I smiled and said “Sure, good luck with that!”

She told me all about when and how and that she had been working on it a while. She told me that spells were like prayer, and magic was like miracles.

That made some sense.

The night she did this spell was the first night that I had joined her, mostly just to show her it would not work. It took her a long time, and I thought, “Why not save some time and just put your hands together and pray” but I said nothing.

When it was over I jokingly said something like ‘So, where’s the new house?” and she smiled and said ‘It does not work that way”

Well I be damned if the next morning a very good Christian lady that lives up the road stopped by on her way past, and said these words “God told me last night to sell you my mobile home and get me a newer one.” I could not believe it! I thought it must be the devil or just luck, but she is too good a Christian for that, so I went with luck.

Later that day another neighbor called saying his daughter was moving out of the mobile home next to his and we could buy that one from him. Both of these offers were priced where we could make payments, and because they were on our private rood, no moving costs to speak of. I was floored but it was not over. The next day another good offer came, and the next another offer! The offers ranged from $3, 500 in payments for a nice place, all the way up to take over the loan for a huge triple wide at $80, 000!!

Not one person ever came to us in the four and a half years about a home until my wife did her spell, then they were bending over backwards trying to help us get a home. These people did not just call once, that took a real interest in getting us a home, and even helped us with the move.

We know live in one of those homes, and I have gotten a real sense of how it works. It is possible for the great sprits of the god and goddess to affect the hearts of any person of any faith, showing we are all just one. I find real peace knowing this, I now understand that each faith on earth has good people in it, and hopefully now I am one of those. I really feel I am a much better person then before, I no longer judge someone on his or her faith, and I must admit I once did this, or I have not grown within.

I also now know I must continue by quest, and with the help of my wife and sites like this, I am enjoying the trip.

Getting our home was not luck, and it was not the devil, it was real magic. Over the course of time I have seen much more magic out of her, many times, and I guess it goes without saying that I have stopped looking for the right faith, because I have found it. Not because of the magic, but the inner peace, one with nature and mostly self-judgment.

We have made a coven of special members, and we feel we are growing with each passing moon. I no longer feel like a sinner for all of the little things I did as a kid. Yes, like many I had lots of sex before marriage, and I have always felt guilty and “a bad little boy” for it. Now I know it was natural, and if kids were told the reasons to respect it, and why, and how to control it, a lot less people would spend a lifetime carrying the guilt I did.

Our marriage is so much stronger, and we are truly one, with each other, and nature. I wish I could tell you the rest of the magic I have seen her do, but it would take way to long, and trust me, we both don’t have that kind of time!!!

Blessed be to all! I truly hope you are as blessed be as I have been to finally have found the right faith… and that is the REAL magic I have seen.

Religion: From A Witch’s Perspective

Religion: From A Witch’s Perspective

Author: Crick

Have you ever wondered why humans are so scared to face life and the spiritual lessons that are in waiting for each of us? I ask this because since the dawning of humankind we have created religions. Religion in all reality is a subterfuge and a distraction from the individual pursuit of spirituality.

A state of spirituality is a journey of the individual. It does not require the presence of the many such as is found within a religion. This applies whether a religion is one of the so-called organized religions, pagan, or one of the myriad other religions created by humans.

A religion comes into existence by the hand of a human, generally a man or group of men. A concept of Deity and the mysteries of life are created and then transformed into a specific dogma or set of beliefs. The only problem with this approach is that it is predicated upon the narrow precepts of one or even a few select humans.

This is fine, if such beliefs were confined to the originators of such beliefs. For each individual is entitled to the beliefs that define their personal existence in regards to Deity and the mysteries that comprise this existence of life.

But when such personal opinions are then extended to the masses, the concept of individualism becomes mired in the tentacles of censorship that goes by the label of dogma. When this occurs, the concept of individuality is lost.

Another concern with such an approach is that those opinions that form the basis for religions are based upon select human perspectives and are not the direct offering of Deity. Of course there will be those humans who will insist that their perception of Deity was the driving force that has inspired the particular religion that they themselves subscribe to.

However with literally thousands of divergent concepts of deity that has been proffered since the beginning of humankind, who is actually right and just as importantly, who is wrong? Is there such delineation when it comes to spirituality and/or religion? Does one person have to be right in order for all others to be wrong?

As individuals, each seeking their own definition and thus understanding of deity, this self-imposed quandary goes away. For as individuals, the belief in deity and the search for a comprehensive understanding of the mysteries of life become a personal pursuit and as such, do not require the approval of any other human being on earth.

Paganism was at one time a path that actually encouraged individual seeking and thus a personal sense of understanding. And in many ways it still is to this very day. However the specter of religion and the pressure of peer acceptance as defined by the few have stretched its tentacles into paganism as well. This modern attempt at conversion is commonly referred to as neo paganism. In essence, there is an attempt by some of these modern converts to turn paganism, which once defined individual spirituality, into a religion which follows the same parameters as the so called organized religions.

Why is this being attempted when it is blatantly obvious that organized religions and paganism are diametrically opposed in their approach to the concepts of deity and the mysteries of life?

The most obvious reason for this forced perception of dogma is the entrance of the many who formerly subscribed to an established religious pattern of acceptance in regards to their spiritual journey. However there may be a deeper reason for such an imposition of foreign values when discussing the parameters of paganism.

For instance why does humankind even need the anonymity of a concept known as religion where one can comfortably become a faceless member of a pre-conceived set of beliefs (dogma) ? And as already noted, said set of beliefs, which in every man-made religion on earth is defined by a select few.

Could it be because there is a segment of society who is apathetic about their spiritual beliefs? Could such folks be personally insecure of what they may encounter if they were to actually seek out their own answers to spirituality? Does this observation offend you?

If so, perhaps there is a gem of truth here that you may want to explore within your Inner self. When a select person or group of persons places the concept of deity and the mysteries of life into an imposition such as religious dogma, there is in effect a barricade to any real spiritual growth. The individual loses the gift of self-identity because they are pressured into a specific set of beliefs (dogma) , which limits any further exploration of the many possibilities that are inherent in un-fettered spirituality.

Many man-made religions have mechanisms in place that are designed to ensure that their members do not stray outside of the accepted parameters of belief has dictated by the few. Where is the freedom of the individual in such a setting? And where within the tenets of paganism do such man-made impositions apply?

These same man-made religions also have mechanisms in place to cast out those who dare to seek out the truths of life as they apply to their personal seeking and yet are outside of the accepted dogma of the particular religion that one is subscribing to.

In my personal opinion such an approach has absolutely nothing to do with any real concept of paganism. And so the push to “convert” paganism into the parameters of organized religion is somewhat troubling and may border on hypocrisy.

There is a common saying that “trying to get pagans to come together is like herding cats”. I personally hope that such an analogy retains some iota of truth as paganism wends its way into the consciousness of modern practitioners. Once those who follow the path of paganism lose the inherent right to live as individuals and once members of paganism lose the drive to seek out Inner truths, which are not restrained by the masses that blindly follow the lead of the few, then it is no longer a true spiritual path. Rather it becomes nothing more than an extension of the mind numbing control of religion.

And those who describe themselves as pagans, in all reality become nothing more than faceless minions of yet another man-made religion.

What is Safety in Magick?

What is Safety in Magick?

Author: Lady Abigail

Magick is a talent you learn. You may be born into a family of magickal line, but still the basics must be learned in understanding what this talent this gift is. Magick is a skill. It is the energy and power used to control the world around you but it is also the skill and wisdom. Wisdom to know that you never need prove it exists. Magick is not something to entertain friends and family who say, “Prove it.” I have found those who need proof of things to be real are not going to believe what they see; even when they see it with their own eyes.

Over the years, I have heard of many different rules and ethics concerning safety in magick and magickal work. The one true rule I have found is: everyone has his or her own set of rules depending on what traditions and background they have.

But I do think there are some good guidelines that can help keep you safe and strong in your magickal workings and spell work. The list below is a mixture of information. Some are guidelines I have heard from others and some are my personal opinions. They may not be the same. My personal guidelines fit me and they may not fit you. Glean what you will and find peace within.

1. First of all, I believe it is detrimental to work magick of any kind when you are ill. Your strength is low and all your energy should be focused on your personal healing. When working magick of any kind, it takes complete focus and concentration. Personally, I don’t have that when my nose is running and I am coughing my head off. So when you are sick, save your strength for your own healing.*

2. Magick and spell work is best when you are at your best. This is why your most powerful magick comes when you are healthy, positive and full of energy. High energy will bring the greatest results. Emotions such as love, joy and happiness add power to your magick. Witches do not stand and chant in a monotone voice. We put our spirits into what we are doing.

3. I have heard that some people believe it unethical to work magick on or for anyone without their permission. On this one, I cannot agree. If I have a friend that is ill and needs healing energy, then I am going to send it. They don’t have to ask me first.**

While I was in the hospital after my breast cancer, I had people and groups working for my healing from all over the world. Some of them I knew, others I did not. I was also asleep or out of it most of the time, so there was no way I could have asked each one of them to do work for me. But I am so thankful for all they did.

4. The Three-Fold Law is the belief and principle, much like the ‘Golden Rule’, that some people base their magick upon. This law relates to the use of power and energy, for when used, power is returned to the sender, three times the level it was sent out.

Used in relation with the ethos, “Do what thy wilt, though it harm none” (as stated in the Wiccan Rede) , witches take great care when preparing and casting spells that no harm should come to others because of it.

For myself, the three-fold return can perhaps be better understood when considering the cause and effect principle of a spell. You work a single spell for healing. The effect is the response you receive back in mind, body, and spirit. This then is your three-fold response to the return of positive energy.

5. Magick must always be respected and not used to threaten, intimidate, injure or to control others. However, when necessary, magick shall be used to protect your life or the lives of others.

6. Magick and spell work CAN be used for your own and personal gain. Somehow, a TV show has convinced a generation of learned Witches that it is wrong to use magick for personal gain. You know, money.

I don’t think so. There is nothing wrong with bringing a little money into your world. Just don’t be greedy.

Some believe it wrong to accept money for the use of magick. Then would this also mean that those who work as psychics, mediums, clairvoyants, herbalist, healers, shop owners and practitioners also should not be paid? The truth is Witches have been paid for their work as long as time has been time.

7. We forewarned in magick that you perform/do for others. It is never a good idea to give or sell your spirit by doing magick for another person, be it good or otherwise. If someone wants a spell done, then teach him or her how, and allow him or her to do it for themselves. In this way, good or bad, the karma is theirs alone.

8. Magick is a gift but still a gift to be employed. Magick and the powers within are a gift of skill. Yet like a great pianist, you cannot grow and attune your skills without constant practice and continued work. You cannot pick up a book one day and think that now you know all there is to know. It doesn’t work that way. You must study, read, learn, and study some more… it never stops. Magick is a passion of what can be with what is.

9. Don’t fake it. Don’t pretend you know something you don’t or that you have more skill than you have. To fake it only cheapens the craft for everyone and removes the truth in any magick you may have once had. Be true to who you are, for no one is expected to know it all.

True Magick is of the Goddess and comes when we finally understand that we know nothing. For even with each thing we learn, there is so much more to be taught. We are empowered by the desire to gain knowledge of all that can be, all that is possible, and all that is.

I bid thee take from these words those that will give you peace unto your wisdom. Leave that which is not for your heart, and in all shall you be blessed.

Lady Abigail
High Priestess Ravensgrove Coven


Footnotes:
*This is why it is a good idea to have a healing charm, stone or poppet made in advance (before you ever get sick) and kept in a save place that you can bring out when you are ill to aid you in your recovery.

**I have to believe this idea comes from working magick on others in a less positive way. Again, my traditions are different and mixed and for those that work other forms of magick, this may not always fit.

Interview With A Hedgewitch

Interview With A Hedgewitch

Author: Juniper

You can call me Dizzy; I am a thirty-something Greenwitch, no affiliations, no initiations. I am something of a girly girl, a blue-collar babe, love to garden, hate to cook. I work as a manager at a greenhouse and garden center outside of Edmonton, Alberta. I am married with no kids, yet. I have been practicing witchcraft for a little less than ten years now. But not very well and not working as hard as I should at it either. I am a pagan and I follow a sort of Gaulish inspired path that way.

Juniper is a 29 year old Hedgewitch, who has been practicing since her mid-teens, no affiliations, no initiations … or wait, she just joined OBOD for some reason, so that’s one.
Juniper owns and operates Walking the Hedge, a blog and forum and sometimes other things as well for Hedgewitches and Kitchenwitches and Trad Witches and anyone else too really.

Juniper’s blog has a small following and is known for being controversial and written in very plain language. She even swears sometimes! She writes raw poetry in an almost street style and rants and writes articles on life as a witch and pagan. And once in a while she posts some really helpful and practical tips as well.

The Forum is also called the Wild Geek Hang and is (surprise, surprise) a place where “garden party manners” are kept, so people talk way more about what they do, day-to-day, than show off what they think they know. But there’s a lot of wisdom and insight and fun and debates there. The people come from all over the world and different paths and lifestyles and its all good. Even if it’s a bit slow in posting, the forum has a large lurker population. And I am one of its moderators.

Juniper is from BC and lives there now but for a few years she lived northeast of Edmonton, we met towards the end of her time living there. She lived on a 4.5-acre property in a lake district type area in rural Alberta, at the edge of a Provincial wildlife grazing reserve. She was in a small mobile plus additions and big deck right in the middle of forest and swamp and ponds and mucky lakes. Sometimes she had power and running water and sometimes she did not, especially at winter when her pipes would freeze and power lines would go down.

At the time I met her she lived more or less alone with her dog Crash and a hedgehog named Chewbacca.

She knew that patch of land like the back of her hand and would walk around barefoot and point out all the different plants and animal tracks and things to me. There was something about her and it took me a while to figure it out.

I was busy trying to practice witchcraft and paganism, here was this strange young woman out there actually living it. And not in that weird creepy way where people think they are an elf and freak out every time the broom falls over or something. More like Juni knew that everything was somehow sacred and just lived that way. It’s hard to explain but it made sense.

Why was I struggling to make time to stand for 15 minutes at some fancy altar in a room at the back of the house? Why wasn’t I sitting on my own deck, chanting softly to a pot full of geraniums instead? That’s what I really wanted to do, deep down. It changed everything.

So today I am going to interview Juniper for a writing class, and for her blog and anybody else who cares. This interview was conducted about a week before midsummer 2009. It was conducted via IM and microphone, but not webcam as Juni is on dial-up.

D: Okay so to get the ball rolling we have some questions from members of the Hedge and friends and such

J: Fire away, will you be answering as well?

D: Yes. Okay here goes:

D: For new green or nature witches, what are a few things that you should start practicing, learning, and doing first?

J: Good starting question. Lets see … the usual suspects.

Get to know the area you live in. Even if you live in a city you can still learn what climate zone you are in, when certain birds nest in the eaves of your apartment building, what kind of plants grow along roadsides and in construction zones.

You can track the course of the sun through the year from a window you know, or a sunspot on the wall. Get to know the parks in your area, the natural features in your region, adopt a tree or shrub nearby. Check out some books on local plants and animals, rock formations, local folklore …

D: Think about what kind of nature you like. Gardening, hiking, animals, the ocean, wildcrafting, environmentalism, and learn about it. Find out what kind of recycling programs they have in the area, community gardens, dumps, and composting rules.

D and J: Then go do it! *laughs*

J: Try to grow something, anything, a potted ivy on your windowsill. Even if all you do is learn how hard it is. Buy a field guide for your area and take it everywhere. Learn about the history of your area. Reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Hmmmmmm… Join a hiking club or volunteer at a local garden, take an herb-walk or bird watching class through your Rec Center. Volunteer at an animal shelter or arboretum, or whatever they have going where you live that interests you.

Go for a hike, sit your ass down and think about why you wanna be a nature worshipper?

Reconnect with favorite hobbies, arts and crafts, your passions and talents. How do they apply to your spiritual life?

D: Have a Wild Corner of your yard or garden if you can! Let it grow wild. Nature spirits love it. I just learned that.

J: You have a new friend.

D: I do. It looks like a wrong colored firefly and I’ve seen it three times now.

J: Neat.

D: I offered it apple juice.

J: Apple juice?

D: Why not? I don’t want drunken raccoons.

J: Did it like it?

D: I don’t know. How do you tell?

J: Like to see? Usually you can’t, I guess. The idea is generally that they take the spirit or essence of the offering, not the offering itself.

D: What like a psychic vampire?

J: Uh, sure.

D: That’s disappointing.

J: Well, sometimes something cool happens.

D: Like what?

J: Well the drink might disappear really fast. But raccoons can do that too. Or you will see the spirit a little longer than usual the next time, or … well, anything … probably, mostly likely, you will never know. Have faith, my child.

D: *laughs* Funny aren’t you?

J: I am.

D: Have you ever heard of an offering being rejected?

J: I may have known someone who promised a certain goddess a certain big time offering, and instead chickened out and tried to appease her with just mead instead. The next day the bowl was split in half and the mead all spilled all over the place.

D: Oooooh! Was it you?

J: No, my life isn’t very dramatic.

D: *laughs* Next question: So you live out in the rural Canada do you think everyone, especially pagans, should move out to the country?

J: NO! As everyone says, if we all moved out to the country there would be no more country.

D: *laughs* of course.

J: Besides, people need to be in the cities and towns, greening them up and growing gardens in backyard and on balconies. I knew a kindred once who were going to buy a small apartment building and green it up and live in it, it was a great idea, it never happened though. Too bad.
I don’t think that to be a real pagan you have to be living out in the country on some farm digging in the dirt or raising horses.

But its what I do. I should also mention that I come from farm folk, its not like I ran away from the city or anything, there’s always been at least one person in my family in possession of a farm or acreage. We kids would get shipped off to the farm in the summer, right.

D: Oo okay *laughs*

J: Just because I do something, doesn’t mean I think everyone else should.

D: Next question: Being a newbie is tough, there’s so much out there and its hard to tell what’s good and what isn’t. It’s hard to know what to study first and what not to bother with. How do I quell the panic?

D: One of the best pieces of advice you ever gave me was to make a list of what really mattered to me deep down. Like, 10 or so things that have the most meaning to me, and to use that list as my guide while surfing through all the information and subjects and stuff that’s out there.

J: Yes, prioritize and stick to it.

It is very easy to find yourself spending a lot of time and energy on astrology or tarot cards, when you still don’t even have Paganism, or mythology, 101 stuff down. Not that I have anything against astrology or tarot cards.

You need to decide what you can’t live without, what gives your life the most meaning. Then stick to that list.

If that’s family, then you need to make sure that your practice involves the family in some way. If connecting with the divine matters to you its time to incorporate devotional practice, if you are a poet look into Bardic pursuits etc.

If one of the items on your list is animal rights then figure out how to incorporate that into your practice, lots of nature witches lean more towards working with animals than plants.

D: And you’re one of them

J: I guess, so. There’s a balance though.

D: And remember; no one can learn everything anyways.

J: Right. Next question.

D: Hedge Druid means solitary Druid now…

J: Is that a question? I don’t know why Hedge means “solitary” to people, it ought to mean “shaman”. The Hedge is the Veil, you know that which border between the Otherworld and this one. Hedge refers to walking between the Worlds, first and foremost. *sighs* This is a pet peeve of mine.

D: And all kinds of borders and edges.

J: Thresholds.

D: Ditches.

J: *laughs*

D: Oh and outcasts, tricksters and outsiders, which is like Solitary but not.

J: I’ve forgotten how silly you are, Dizzy my dear. A Hedgewitch is an edge witch.

D: Can I be a Hedgewitch and still be a Christian?

J: Lots of the old cunning folk were.

D: Wasn’t that pretending so you didn’t get caught?

J: Maybe, maybe not. How do you get into the head and heart of people long past? I think people mixed stuff more than we often think. Who am I to judge?

D: We can contact the ancestors and contact dead cunning folk or druids or something?

J: Sure.

D: Are you going to any pagan fests this year?

J: I’m planning on heading out to the Druid Gathering in Alberta in a couple of days, other than that I’m not sure.

D: Okay this is a good one: I am sick of 101 books! I want more, what do I do?

J: Pick up a couple of your favorite pagan/witchcraft books, and then pick out the books in the bibliography in the back. Source material my friends. There’s also a lot more in-depth and advanced pagan books coming out now. Seek and ye shall find. And podcasts, I wish I were not on dial-up.

D: Podcasts are good. What else?

J: Hmmmm, if you are that kind of person, it may be time to have a look at something like the OBOD or ADF training programs…

D: Witch school?

J: *laughs* Or your local adult education or Recreation Center.

D: Take an aromatherapy course, or yoga, or meditation.

J: Exactly. Even an afternoon class on pruning shrubs and trees will come in handy when wildcrafting and cutting trees for wands and such. Classes like that are often only $30 and a couple of hours on the weekend.

D: Awesome.

J: A class at the pottery shop will earn you offering dishes.

D: You can volunteer too, that’s free. Volunteer at a community garden or wildlife center or the SPCA …

J: Learn by doing, if you’ve had enough of books, its time to start doing. Practicing. Experimenting. Do that for a little while. Then sit your ass down and really think about what the heck you are doing and why, and what seems to be working for you and what isn’t and why?

D: Ooooooo … you’re right.

D: Any tips on studying paganism and witchcraft?

J: When it comes to many subjects, such as history, mythology and herbalist, pagan authors often read books written by PhDs in those fields and write their own personal opinions as facts in their books. Read pagans books with a grain of salt and then read the books written by the PhDs and form your own opinions.

D: Some of those books are hard! Books by Silver Ravenwolf are easy to read.

J: Yes, but not all of them … and wah, wah! Poor baby. That’s what the dictionary and search engines are for.

D: Oh man, Juni!
I live in a city, how can I be a nature witch?

J: There are lots of ways to go green in the city. I’m not sure I’m the best person to answer that question. Adding a little green to the city is important, even just a windowsill or caring for the tree in front of your house.

D: Green in the city is vital.

J: Tear up the parking lots and plant gardens!

D: What book is that from?

J: Um, Starhawk, 5th Sacred Thing.

D: What’s new with the farm?

J: We are currently looking for a couple of young pigs, to help root out an overgrown veggie garden.

D: Pigs do that?

J: Yep

D: Cool.

D: How do you see paganism in society today and the in future?

J: You’re asking me? Uh, vital.

D: You didn’t holler something about a revolution.

J: I must be getting old.

D: How important is paganism in this new millennium?

J: Vital. Grow baby grow.

D: One thing you want to say to everyone?

J: Don’t be so hard on each other.

D: Or yourselves! Next Question: What sort of tools and items do you use in your wicked witcheries?

J: In the day to day, usually just whatever is handy and myself. I still have remnants of my days when I had to have 3 of everything and have it all on my altar all the time and what not. Now I just dig out a ceramic cup, fill it with dirt and stick a charcoal disk in it, toss in some homemade incense and away we go.

For the big fests I like to pull out all the stops and make a big deal out of it. Why not eh?

The stuff in between, I have a staff and a stang, and a bag of little bits and bones and stones and things. I love candles, even if that’s all I’m using. I recently acquired a nice stag skull that has a total of seven tines.

D: What drew you to witchcraft?

J: Everything. Mythology first, folk tales, poetry, the land.

D: What traits do you think help you in this endeavor?

J: I try very hard to utilize all of myself all of the time. Or something. An open mind and also critical thinking skills, a genuine love for the land, animals, the sea etc…

D: What aspects do you find the most challenging?

J: Other people and their egos. Getting past my ego and doing it for some greater than just to make myself feel special.

D: What are good and bad things about group ritual and solitary ritual?

J: I’m not experienced with group ritual well enough to properly answer that question. I attend a handful of ritual and events a year, often not much more than that. I love the community and the fun, but it’s tiring. I like to do my own thing and not have to explain myself all the time.

D: What’s the typical day of Juniper the Hedgewitch like?

J: Depends. Get up around sunrise, when the housedogs want out. They come and whine at the bedroom door, so I get up and let them out, go back to bed if I can. If there are babies, like puppies or new horses or something then I’m also going to check on them.

I get up really when I have to I guess, it depends a lot on the time of year. Start with tea and breakfast on my deck. Feel the wind, watch the birds, and pat the dogs. Blink bleary eyed in the general direction of the Sun. If there’s time for yoga before a shower wonderful!

Check emails and the Hedge and such. Walk the dogs either up and back down the mountain or along the road depending on the weather. Wave at the old elder at the head of the drive way as you go by. Admire the view of the valley.

Feed dogs, feed horses, water, etc…

Repair fencing; clear out old chicken coop. Haul water around. Push a wheelbarrow around. Wonder if the pick up truck is going to make it up that hill with this load?

Eat when there’s time, I BBQ a lot even in winter. Stop for a sec and think “Thank you”, because I’ve gone hungry before, then eat.

Train dogs, workhorses, build pigpen. Consider what a horse-y shrine in a horse pasture would look like?

Take a break in the evening to unwind, maybe meditate. Read. Catch up on emails and the Hedge and stuff. Maybe write something. Watch the news or a documentary while I bead or sew or something.

Say a prayer before bed, kiss the dogs good night, tuck in the horses. Sleep.

D: How do I connect with the land?

J: Well like I said earlier, learn what you can about it. Then get out on it, as much as you can. Keep your eye and ears and all open and watch and listen and learn. Be patient.

D: What would you like to tell the public about yourself?

J: I’m really a very sweet person.

D: What would you like to tell the public about the Craft?

J: I’m not someone who should be representing the Craft in that manner to those people.

D: Why should someone take up the Craft?

J: Because it does that weird funny thing to their heart, and because it makes them think and grow as a person and spiritual being.

D: Why shouldn’t someone take up the Craft? (Or maybe who shouldn’t take it up.)

J: Idiots looking for power, people playing make believe, people who want a quick fix for their pain.

D: What would you like to tell beginners in the Craft?

J: Get real and be real and know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Practice makes better. Use you heart, your instincts, and your brains too. This isn’t pretend; this is religion.

D: What would you like to tell more advanced practitioners?

J: Nothin’ … no … Get real and be real and know why you’re doing what you’re doing.

D: Are you at base Pantheist, Polytheist, Animist, some mix of these, or something else?

J: Yes.

Okay I’ll tell you one of those crazy stories that make people look at me funny. Once upon a time, while hanging out in the underworld, I happened across the guy with the antlers, who was just, well hanging out. After a while nothing happened, so I figured I’d ask a question. I asked:

“So, are you a individual god, all gods, a primal god, or what? How does that work anyways?”

He said, “It doesn’t matter.” True story.

So, while I find it very interesting to think about this and wonder at it and look at theories, I’m not all that concerned over it.

D: What does Witchcraft/Hedgecraft, etc. bring to the mosaic of world religions?

J: White people can have their mojo back, with out having to steal words like mojo.

D: Did you really sacrifice a toad?

J: The only toads that live out here are endangered species, so no.

Dizzy: What are you reading right now?

J: I have a very short attention span, so I rarely read one book just straight through. I usually have two or three on the go and I sort of rotate.

D: Yeah right! I remember you reading a whole book from start to finish in like 6 hours straight on a car ride to Drumheller. It wasn’t an easy book either it was like a history book on the Celts or something. You were reading like a hundred pages an hour or something scary like that.

J: Okay so sometimes I can do that. I don’t think that was a history book, I think that was a mythology book.

D: Please tell me that wasn’t the Mabinogion.

J: Which translation? *laughs*

D: You’re such a nerd! I’ll ask again, what are you reading right now?

J: Lets see, my purse book is a paperback fiction by Anne Bishop, one from her Black Jewels trilogy. A world I’d love to go live in, so long as I didn’t wind up in one of the bottom castes! My bathroom book right now is “The Quest for Merlin” by Tolstoy. And my bedside book is “Masks of the Muse” by Veronica Cummer.

D: Cool! And what are you listening to right now?

J: I spent most of the winter listening to a bunch of Alan Watts’s lectures and a few podcasts, like the Crooked Path podcast and I got all caught up on Deo’s Shadow. Now I’m trying to work through my audio OBOD course, so that’s taking up most of my listening time and to compliment that I’ve started to Celtic Myth Podshow from the beginning again.

D: Oh, cool. I actually meant music though.

J: Oh, sorry I’m such a nerd! I’m going through a Celtic Punk phase right now, lots of Dropkick Murphy’s and such.

D: When we first met you made me listen to lots of Classical.

J: Yeah, I go through that phase every few months.

D: So I am not a very good reader. And like non-fiction books are really hard for me. But to be a good pagan you have to read all these fringing books! Any suggestions?

J: Oh good question! Let’s face it, not everyone can handle non-fiction, textbook style reading material. Some of folks might not have the reading comprehension, the text book style of teaching might not gel with how you learn, maybe non-fiction is just too damned dry for you.

D: Or maybe you’re a student and are sick to death of instructional manuals and stuff. So what do I do?

J: Okay let’s see…Reference material. Okay, still non-fiction. However, reference materials, such as encyclopedias are a good non-fiction option for non-fiction haters. In something like “The ABCs of Witchcraft” you have all sorts of information condensed down and in alphabetical order. The wonderful thing about books like this is that even if you only read one or two pages a day, you will still learn something.

D: Ick!

J: Har har.

Poetry. From Homer to Yeats and beyond, there is a plethora of poetry out there chalk full of great folklore and wicked witchery. And that’s not counting our modern pagan poets to be found either!

Podcasts, and you could try to wade through Youtube to find hidden gems…Hmmm…

D: So you once told me to pick a tree and look at it everyday. Talk to it and stuff.

J: That’s pretty standard; you see that in a lot of 101 books now, because it’s a good idea.
Hmmm how to put this?
When you are first starting out its like you can’t see the forest because of all the trees. There’s just so much. Actually even when you first get out into a real life forest its like that, not knowing the names of the trees and suddenly wanting too.

But once you start to learn about the trees themselves. This is a spruce, this is a willow it grows near water etc, the more familiar you become with the forest. Suddenly you can navigate and start to feel yourself along.

D: Literally and spiritually.

J: Layers of metaphors there. *laughs*

D: If you want to connect with nature start small.

J: Sure, bite sized pieces. Learning about just one tree can lead to all kinds of discoveries. What kinds of birds live near you, magickal properties of the wood, maybe the berries are edible, watching the life cycle of another living being, maybe there’s folklore attached to that kind of tree, connecting with the land, starting to add a spiritual aspect to your daily routine, trees make great metaphors for all kinds of things …

D: All that good stuff!

J: Indeed.

D: Why do you blog?

J: Well I started a website because at the time I was interested in learning HTML code, and a few friends and I were wanting a forum to call our own, so that’s how the Hedge got started. But writing a website from code is time consuming, especially if you are learning as you go. So I decided to go to blog format because it is way less work. Also I could post less proper articles and essays and just be myself more.

Also, I’m actually a very upbeat, cheerful person. I’m the girl everybody goes to if they need a shoulder to cry on, or need to be cheered up.

D: I do that! I bug you when I‘m down.

J: Yes you do, but that’s okay. Anyways, when you’re known in your social circle as the person to go to for cheering up, people often don’t react well when you’re upset. It freaks them out; “Oh my gods Juni is upset, the world must be ending!”

D: *laughs*

J: So the blog started to become an outlet for that. Even if its just little more than shouting into an empty room, I still get to vent and articulate what’s been weighing on my mind or heart.

D: You should write a book.

J: Is that a question? What shall I write about? And do not say a 101 book!

D: Oh … uhhh, not a Hedgewitch 101 book?

J: *laughs* no that’s so, done. Why add yet another to the pile? I like to think outside the box, you know, stuff that would never sell, like a book of poetry and photographs.

D: How about a book on your like life and practice and being a witch everyday and stuff? You’re an interesting person. And there’s like, no books on like one witches daily pagan practice.

J: Maybe. I have also been thinking about writing a book about actually working with animals in your practice, and not just like having a deer totem but not know anything about deer.
Actually is there that book … ah, “Irish Witchcraft from an Irish Witch” that’s along those lines, the daily practice of a witch. I think I skimmed that once.

D: Which means you read the whole thing a couple of hours.

J: It was a small book and a relatively light read; I forget the name of the author right now though. O’Brien or something.

D: You said to me once “I eat books for breakfast”

J: No dear, that was cheerleaders, I eat cheerleaders for breakfast, and Paris Hilton wannabes.

D and J: *laughs*

D: How was the hosting Beltaine 2009 at your farm? Did the meal go good? People brought good food? I hate it when everyone brings potato chips.

J: Yeah me too. A feast is only as good as the food you bring, and the people eating it.
We couldn’t have the pig roast, no volunteers on Friday to dig the pit or anything. Plus we had a horse injure herself, which costs money, so unless people were willing to chip in for the cost of the pig, it wasn’t going to happen. So we had roast chicken and other goodies instead.
The potluck was good people brought pretty decent food. I was impressed.

D: Cool, it went good then. Did everyone behave themselves, any glitches or anything?

J: Well, there are always things that go wrong. Especially when your volunteers all disappear, except one.

D: *laughs* wasn’t I supposed to bring my big BBQ and all the stuff?

J: Yes, and I don’t mean this in a mean way, but I won’t rely on anyone else quite as much next time.

D: Sorry hun! What was the hitch?

J: One of the crones attending was insulted I served cheap wine.

D: WHAT?

J: Yeah. I served a total of 3 bottles of wine for Beltaine and I guess the inexpensive stuff wasn’t good enough.

D: Oh wow, did she actually say something?

J: Yeah. Sitting right beside me too, like I wasn’t going to hear her. So I told them, “hey its Canadian wine”. But still, I guess I should have spent 30 bucks a bottle or something.

D: How rude!

J: Really. I’m not made of money. Should I have spent a hundred bucks just on wine?

D: Wait … no one gave you money for the wine or anything?

J: No, this was all entirely out of my pocket. I’m a farmer, I live hand to mouth folks.

D: And they were complaining that you didn’t spend more money on them? I wouldn’t be inviting that mean old crone back if I were you!

J: Really. But, sadly I don’t think I could get away with that. She’s a member of the training Coven out here, and this is a small town. And you know what that means.

D: Even though that crone is the one who needs to learn manners. You don’t go to someone’s home and comment on the wine like that!

J: Ah, well.

D: That’s something that pisses me off about the pagan community. Some bitch runs a Coven, or even just belongs to one, and that gives her way too much power and influence over the rest of the community.

J: Especially in places with a smaller community, where there’s just less people and a less mature community; you don’t see the bad apples get away with that quite as much in larger and longer established communities.

D: So you get mean bitches that show up at someone else’s celebration and are totally rude, and if you dare say anything…

J: *laughs*

D: Outcast.

J: Exiled.

D: Witch War is declared on your Solitary butt. Here comes the gossip, the insults, the lies and the backstabbing.

J: Yup, if anyone wants me, I’ll be running around in the bush with Fionn and his merry men …
*laughs*

D: Fionn who?

Something needs to be done. Paid and trained clergy is what we need. Trained, paid and held accountable. People willing to devote their lives to the community, not just those who are looking for a power trip or ego boost. Not just some control freak with a charming smile. REAL Clergy.

J: We also need to really start recognizing the folks out there busting their butts, whether they have a 3rd degree or not.

We ALL need to start offering to help out. It’s not that tough to offer to do the dishes or carry a box of equipment or whatever. My Mom raised me to be helpful, where did people’s manners go?

We also need more people brave enough to vote with their feet. If you’re sick of the antics of one spoiled HP, then just stop showing up, it’s that simple.

D: Go do your own thing.

J: Maybe they’ll get the point.

D: One reason why I love you and your forum at the Hedge is the acceptance.

J: I am a voice of the little people, a champion of the underdog! Gather together under my freak flag, my Solitary and Outcast friends!

D and J: *laughs*

D: You should be paid clergy. You’re great!

J: *laughs* I don’t think so

D: No, no, no! I mean it. You teach well, you are patient; you don’t make fun of people or look down on people.

J: I’m not yet 30, I have no formal training to speak of, not much experience leading group ritual, no fancy education to brag about, suffer from stage fright when in front of groups…

D: *interrupts* So? People should be donating money to train you! It would be worth it!

J: Uh, I don’t think so dear. *laughs*

D: I still think that you’ll be a killer Big Name Priestess someday. I can’t wait until you’re grey haired and kicking butt!

J: Shouldn’t I write a book or something first?

D: But you’d do it. I know it because you’re you.

J: I’d happily spend my life just tending some pagan temple for the community, sweeping floors, replacing candles, handing out pamphlets, running the library, and tending the gardens… *sighs*

D: No, no, no! You should be a real Priestess and not for one Tradition or Coven, but for all paths. Not just some lackey cleaning floors!

J: If you insist.

D: So why don’t you?

J: Because a girl’s gotta eat, and the bills need to be paid. I have no help running this farm, let alone leaving it to someone else to run while I go to “pagan school”. I love paganism; I love the pagan community, despite my bitching about it. I’d love to devote my life to serving paganism and helping it grow in a good way. But I’d starve to death if I tried.

D: And no one is going to feed you while you work towards that goal.

J: Exactly. Let’s not forget, that training isn’t free either. You can’t be full time clergy and hold down a full time job too, let alone family and having a life and such. You know how many burnt out leaders in the pagan community I’ve met? Too many.

D: Right.

J: How can I run my temple if I have to work a full time job to pay the mortgage for it? I’ll never be around to have the freaking thing open. Besides, there are other ways to contribute and be influential without having to lead a Coven or something.

D: Okay let’s change the subject slightly before we get ourselves in trouble. So what do you see your current role in the community? Where do you fit in?

J: Hmmmm. Well let me tell you a story.

I headed down to an open ADF ritual for last Ostara. And there was a girl in her late teens there, very shy, very awkward. It was pretty obvious that this was one of her first ventures into attending an open ritual or anything along those lines.

Before things got started, the Grove leader mentioned that there would be a point in the ritual where everyone can come up and give some kind of an offering. And this girl blurted out that she is Otherkin, a wolf no less, and she wanted her offering to be a howl. The Grove leader said that was fine, but you could see a little trepidation on her face. Otherkin are rather odd people after all *laughs*

D: Do you believe in Otherkin?

J: No comment.

Anyways, we get to that point in the ritual and everyone lines up to put his or her little offerings in the dish and I take my turn and come back to my seat. And here is this girl, sitting there in the back with her head down, looking at the floor. I knew, just knew, that she had chickened out and she couldn’t bring herself to do the howl. I also knew that if she had said in front of everyone that she was going to howl and then didn’t, she would be beating herself up over it for a while, and might not get up the guts to attend another ritual or anything for some time. You could just see it in her body language.

So, me being me, and all … I snuck over to her and crouched by her chair. I asked her if she would feel more comfortable if we howled together? Because, like I care what people think of me right? Not!

She was very much relived and gave me a huge smile in thanks. Poor thing was shaking, so I held her hand, and we waited until everyone else was done his or her offerings, but the leader hadn’t yet signaled everyone to sit down and stop the chant she had us singing. I counted to 3 and we let out a nice, long, loud, beautiful howl together. She was beaming after that, proud that she had the guts to do it, and she thanked me very much, gave me a hug and I went back to my seat.

The end.

D: Totally. Wow Juni, that’s just you all over. That’s who you are.

J: I often say that I’m a “nobody” just another Jane Doe Pagan and folks think I am putting myself down, but I’m not. I say that with pride.

Look, I work hard, I study hard, but mostly I live what I believe. But I am nobody special; I am just another ordinary, solitary, eclectic, blue collar, uneducated, unlineaged, self-taught witch.

D and J: And proud of it! *laughs*

J: I am NOT going to lower my eyes or bow my head or be ashamed of that dammit! That’s a big part of who I am, as well as my persona and reputation within the greater pagan community.

D: I don’t just practice the old Craft, I ***ing LIVE it! You are a voice of the little people, a champion of the underdog!

J: I get these emails, or comments on my blog, or people joining the Hedge forum all the time, who are drawn to the Hedge like moths to a flame. Because that’s what they are too, many of my readers and our Hedge members come from little towns, not big cities with big, mature and thriving pagan communities. Or they have been rejected enough times by their own fellow pagans, they are sick of it you know?

Then they find this tiny little corner I … no WE … are slowly carving out of the larger pagan community and I love it!

D: You are not a real Witch!

J: You are not a proper Pagan!

D: I love you! *laughs*

J: I love you too Dizzy. Ha ha! Maybe the title for my first book should be “Not a Real Witch”. I could use a little more help though … I hardly have time to moderate, admin, write, plot and plan etc and still lead my own life *laughs* I am not a super-person who can do a million things in a day.

D: Well, I think that’s a pretty good place to stop this. Thanks very much for letting me pick your brain a little.

J: Thank you and you’re welcome. I hope you get a good grade.

D: Me too!

Oh and you have permission to edit this and submit it to your blog or Witchvox or anything on my behalf, no, our behalf.

(FYI: Dizzy got an 86% on her project)