Eleven Things Every Witch Should Know

Eleven Things Every Witch Should Know

1. Magic is what happens when you open yourself to the Divine. All real magic is
a manifestation of the Divine – it is how you co-create reality with deity.

2. The Divine is within you and is everywhere present in the natural world. And
everything is interconnected by this sacred energy.

3. Wicca is not about information — it’s about transformation, so practice,
practice, practice — and do it as much as possible in Nature! Witchcraft
enables you to commune with divinity and to manifest your destiny, your desires
and your highest and sacred self.

4. The real ethics of how Witches live and practice magic are simple: Witches
live in a sacred manner because we live in a sacred world. We therefore treat
all of life with reverence and respect.

5. Because all magic flows from our connection to the Sacred, our lives and our
magic, must be guided by the sacred nature of the energy with which we work.

6. The energy Witches work with is not neutral — it is divine love.

7. Magic often works in unexpected way because it is not a mechanical process,
and the Universe is not a machine. You are living and making magic within a
divine, organic, living reality.

8. Witches don’t command and control — they commune and co-create.

9. The real secret of successful spellcasting, as with all of magic, is your
connection to the Divine power that dwells within you, and surrounds you. And
spells do work so be careful what you ask for!

10. Nature makes the Divine tangible. By working, living, and practicing your
magic in harmony with Nature, you are in harmony with the Divine.

11. The ultimate teacher is the God/Goddess inside you and in the world of
Nature all around you.

Author unknown

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for April 9th

By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

At times, Americans seem too easily taken, too docile to political movements, and too indifferent to their own responsibilities as a free people. How easy it is to turn our heads and tell ourselves that there are intelligent people in high authority looking after our interests and that they will never let our freedom be lost. This kind of thinking is a fallacy. America still belongs to the people, and it is up to is to tell our representatives in Washington that we want it kept that way.

We are too easily led to believe that we deserve a way of life that appears free and easy. But seemingly free handouts will eventually take away our freedom unless we decide to personally do something about it.

Americans are known for their ability to start with a little ingenuity and a lot of faith to build powerful financial empires. But in great and small there beats a heart of devotion to God and country. In battle, no one could display more bravery, more determination, or more loyalty than these defenders of America. In the face of seeming defeat, young Americans have stood together and fought courageously.

Now, people of all ages must stand together. We must make our views known to the government. We must continually develop within ourselves moral, physical, and spiritual strength; and we must pray to God – without that faith, all is lost.


Available online! ‘Cherokee Feast of Days’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler.

Visit her web site to purchase the wonderful books by Joyce as gifts for yourself or for loved ones……and also for those who don’t have access to the Internet: http://www.hifler.com
Click Here to Buy her books at Amazon.com

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – April 9

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – April 9

“Everything really is equal. The Creator doesn’t look at me any better than He looks at the trees. We’re all the same.”

–Janice Sundown Hattet, SENECA

Sometimes humans think we are the center of the Universe. Sometimes we think we are above or better than other people or things. The Great Spirit made a set of Laws and Principles by which all things should live. Everybody and everything lives by the same Laws. We are all made of atoms just like the trees. The life force in the middle of the atom is the life force of the Great Mystery. It is the same for everything. We are all equal in the eyes of the Creator.

Great Spirit, today, I will respect your handiwork.

April 9 – Daily Feast

April 9 – Daily Feast

A problem of recent times is that we do not have a set of values by which we can live. If we are to live well and be reasonably happy, we have to have an idea of who we are and where we are going. There must be rules to guide us. Tsu gv wa lo di I to the Cherokee means a definite standard by which to live, even when the values of others change by the hour. Without it, we are rafts on a high tide with no direction and no control. If the standard is missing we go with whatever comes along. Even is rules are self-made and are late in coming, if they come at all, it is worth the effort. And if we hold to them with a passion, they will be worth whatever we had to do, whatever we have to give up, to follow.

~ When a child, my mother taught me….to kneel and pray to Usen for strength, health, wisdom, and protection. ~


‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

‘The Magic is Real!’ (Sometimes We Just Need To Be Reminded.)

‘The Magic is Real!’ (Sometimes We Just Need To Be Reminded.)
Author: Lodestone & Lady’s Mantle

Do you remember the day when you forgot? What was it? Was it when you felt like the last person to learn there wasn’t a Santa Claus? Was it that one day the magic failed? Was it even a single moment? Did you just stop seeing “Them”? Be it ghosts, fairies, elementals, or that invisible friend that faded after countless therapy sessions, it’s one of the biggest stumbling blocks I’ve discovered with the modern practitioner.

We’ve forgotten.

We embrace the religion and forget that what it stands for is even there: The Magic is Real. We pray when in need, we dance under the moon when the space allows, and we burn our candles, but when was the last time you saw the magic working? We celebrate the festivals, we check our astrological charts, we burn incense or sage and sweet grass, but there’s something missing for so many that something needs must be said.

The Magic is Real.

There’s probably three people in our community that haven’t seen “What the Bleep” or that ‘secret’ movie, but the rest of us can see how even science is telling us it exists. It may be wrapped in reduced expectations of magic, but it’s still there. Jung theorized it, with the Collective Unconscious. Kirlian photography has given us pictures of it. Bad ghost-hunting television programs have taken miles of footage of it.

The “One Decimal Point”* is coalescing all of this data (and making-up even more than that) ‘where witches fear to tread’. They hold INATS, and other conventions, to sell us “Aura Photos”, and crystal bowls, but we don’t find the magic there, either. Weekend Yoga supplants Open Circles, Reiki replaces Spellcasting, and chanting dispossesses invocations, but it’s still the “Same Shinola, Different Wrapper”. Going through the motions isn’t Magic. Magic is about Life, and not simply little pieces of life. To truly live in Magic one needs to enfold their life within it.

We cast, we wait, we see results, we get what we want, and we stop. …and we forget. We forget it works. We forget it’s Real. If we wait too long, we have to remind ourselves again. It’s not your fault. A LOT of time and effort went into teaching you that it wasn’t real. It was in every classroom. It was behind every disapproving scowl, inferred in between every-other word in every book we’ve read. It’s left out of our day-to-day jobs, and rarely mentioned in commercial radio. There’s a lot of momentum to over-come.

I have three suggestions: See! Do! Remember!


Have you ever seen an Aura? Not that retina after-image of someone you’ve stared at for too long, but a real aura. Once you can see those, it includes every metaphysical manifestation, from seeing the wind, to spotting ghosts. You used to see them long ago, as a child, but were taught they weren’t there, so you developed a Blind Spot to them. Now you need to overcome that Blind Spot. It’s not as hard as you would think. Let’s help you out…

A) Take an Orange sheet and hang it on the wall. I know you probably don’t simply have anything big and orange lying around, so this may mean a trip to a hobby store. Since demand is low, it shouldn’t be too hard or costly. I’m afraid it does have to be orange, though: Sorry.

B) Place a brightly burning candle in front of the orange sheet. Don’t start a fire! We need to reflect back-lighting from the orange sheet, when we…

C) Place a Living Subject in front of the candles, and dim the lights. This gives a clearer contrast to the Aura and therefore an easier target. Next, the Eyes…

D) Work with hard and soft focus of the eyes.
The hard-focus is the left-to-right eye coordination of the two eyes. We play with it when we flip through those old “Magic Eye” books from the 90’s. Staring out to the horizon spreads them apart. Trying to thread a needle brings them together. Know these extremes.

Next, Soft-Focus: This is the thickening and thinning of the shape of the lens of the eye. The closer the object in front of your eye, the thicker the lens becomes, as we try to, say, focus on our fingerprints.

The room and subject are all set up. Stare through the subject, and off into the horizon, past the wall behind them. As you adjust your eyes, always be aware of the subject. Bring your focus in, closer and closer, until (with the aid of your finger) you are focused in to an inch from your eye. Stay Aware of The Subject! Your body will respond to the objects you focus on, but your mind needs to remain aware of the Subject before the Orange sheet. This exercise is about getting past the Blind Spot you’ve developed.

The effect can be dramatic, so be prepared. You may choose to reject it, so it pops in and out, as you ‘keep loosing it’. Stay resolute.

Now that you can ‘See!’ …


A) Gain control of your aura, now that you can see it. Change its shape, modify its thickness, or even generate energy-forms. See what you can do with it, like a child with crayons or play-dough. In the safety of your own home, it’s okay to play with it.

B) Cast spells! Not the huge “Life-Changing, Will-Dominating, Karma-Will-Get-You” kind of spells. Just cast the little ones. Summon things into your day, like having a specific vintage automobile drive by, or a woman out walking a bizarre pet (leaving it to chance as to the breed) , or seeing a little farther into the future. Send telepathic messages to a compatriot, provided you’re both okay with the exercise. “Keep Your Hand In”, as they say. Magic begets Magic. It’s like a muscle: Use it or loose it.


Keep a journal: It makes no difference what you call it. Even scientists keep logs of their results. If you want to keep doubt at bay, nothing breeds certainty like good solid proof! Your journal can do that for you. Whether it’s a Book of Shadows, Book of Secrets, pebble-notes, text-file, or even video-log, make sure you can look and see that you cast for it, and you got it! Record The Results, as well as the Attempts. You need to remember that both took place.

You’ll be surprised at how these simple little things can bring dramatic effects back into Life. It doesn’t just affect your life, but also the community at large, as the paradigm is nurtured, and Magic gains momentum. The more we each recognize this, the more and stronger results we all realize. The more we manifest things, the more dramatic the manifestations become, as each practitioner ‘pushes the envelope’ a little further.

If you can’t remember, you forget to do. If you don’t do, you forget to see.

Sometimes we just need to be reminded.

The Magic is Real!

*-“The difference between Pagan and New Age is one decimal point” – From Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers and Other Pagans in America Today, by Margot Adler (Courtesy of “Pagan Confederation Canada” website)

Making Gemstone water

Making Gemstone water

Making gemstone water is actually very simple, you will need the following ‘ingredients’ for this:
* a glass vessel
* a gemstone
* bottled spring water or boiled (and cooled) tapwater
* a windowsill

Before you start making gemstone water you will have to make the choice whether you wish to use the energies of the sun or the energies of the moon. The sun will charge your gemstone water with soothing, soft and warm energies while the various moon phases will give a different result.

The Moon phases:
Waxing Moon: The energies of the waxing moon are suited for new projects, new relations and to plant new ‘seeds’.
Full Moon: The Full Moon is the symbol of positive magick, blessing, creativity, healing and reinforcement.
Waning Moon: The energies of the waning moon are connected to get rid of bad habits, negative thoughts and to build down things, to purge yourself from all negativity from the outside world, but also from within yourself.
New Moon: The New Moon is the time of death, a time to stop and look inside yourself and to realize that you can always start again, no matter what happened to you. It is the time to halt an illness or a pattern of thoughts and give it a positive spin.

It is therefore important to ask yourself for which purpose you wish to use the gemstone water before you start.

Put the stone in the glass vessel and fill it up to 3/4 with spring water or the cooled down tapwater. Put the vessel with the stone in it on your windowsill for 12 hours and leave it to ‘charge’ there without interruption. If you have decided to make use of the energies of the sun, you should take into account that certain stones may discolour in direct sunlight.

You can enhance your immune system by drinking a few glasses of gemstone water every day, but you may also use it to wash your face and/or hands, especially for skin disorders it is advisable to use Aventurine water to wash yourself. Next to that it is also possible to give your plants this water, the stones that are highly suited for this are Jade and Moss Agate.

Text © copyright Branwynn Annwn. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. No portion of this issue may be reproduced and/or disclosed publicly in any way, shape or form without the written permission of the editor/author Branwynn Annwn. Feel free to share with a friend.

Herb of the Day for April 9th – Mint

Herb of the Day for April 9th



Plants in the mint family are very hardy perennials with vigorous growth habits. Mint, left to its own devices, will spread quickly and become a nuisance. However, it is very popular as a flavorful herb and the plants can be grown easily. Just try to chose a spot where you won’t mind the rampant growth or grow it in a confined space.

Latin Name:

Peppermints (Mentha × piperita), Spearmints (Mentha spicata).

Mature Size:

Height – 12 to 18 inches (30 – 45cm).
Width: 18 to 24 inches (45 – 60cm). However plants will spread much further.

Days to Harvest:

Seed germinates in 10 – 15 days. Full size plant depends upon variety and growing conditions. Usually within 2 months.


Sun / Partial Shade

USDA Hardiness Zones:

Depends on variety. Peppermint is very cold hardy, down to Zone 3. Spearmint handles the heat best, up to Zone 11.


Mint really wants to be a ground cover. The long branches grow upward and then flop over and root, spreading the plant wherever it can reach. The spikes of white or pinkish flowers are attractive, but brief. However, they do attract bees, butterflies and even birds. Most mint plants are hybrids and will not grow true from seed.

Design Suggestions:

Many mints work well in herbal lawns. They will need to be kept mowed, if you plan on walking on them. But this will help control their spread and the scent will make the work more pleasant. Otherwise I highly recommend planting mint in pots and keeping them on patios or paved areas. There will be more than enough to harvest and you won’t have the high maintenance of keeping the plants in check.

Suggested Varieties:

  • Mentha piperita , Peppermint – The best for mint flavoring. (USDA Zones 5 – 11)
  • M. piperita citrata cv., Orange Mint – One of the tangiest of the fruit flavored mints. (USDA Zones 4 – 11)
  • Mentha suaveoloens , Apple Mint – Apple. Mint. What’s not to like? (USDA Zones 5 – 11)
  • Mentha suaveolens variegata, Pineapple Mint – Variegated offshoot of apple mint. (USDA Zones 6 – 11)

Growing Tips:

Mint is one of the few culinary herbs that grows well in shady areas, although it can handle full sun if kept watered.Cuttings of mint will root easily in soil or water and mature plants can be divided and transplanted. However you can start new plants from seed. Sow outdoors in late spring or start seed indoors about 8-10 weeks before the last frost. Keep soil moist until seed germinates.

Mint prefers a rich, moist soil with a slightly acidic pH between 6.5 and 7.0. If the soil is somewhat lean, top dress yearly with organic matter and apply an organic fertilizer mid-season, after shearing.

To contain the roots and limit spreading, you can grow mint in containers, above or sunk into the ground. Be careful to keep container mints from flopping over and touching the ground. Stems will root quickly, if given the chance.

Harvesting: Snip sprigs and leaves as needed.

If you don’t harvest your mint regularly, it will benefit greatly from a shearing mid-season. At some point, you will probably notice the stems getting longer and the leaves getting shorter. That’s the time to cut the plants back by 1/3 to ½ and get them sending out fresh new foliage again. You can do small patches at a time, if you have a lot of mint, and prolong the harvest season. All cuttings can be used, dried or frozen for later use. You can use, dry or freeze the cuttings.

Pests & Problems: Sometimes gets rust, which appears like small orange spots on the undersides of leaves. Use an organic fungicide and try to allow plants to dry between waterings.

Stressed plants may also be bothered by whitefly, spider mites, aphids, mealybugs

Recipe Suggestions for Enjoying Your Fresh Mint

  • Make a Mint Julep Video
  • Kentucky Derby Mint Julep Cake Recipe
  • Pea and Mint Soup Recipe
  • Chocolate Mint Syrup
  • Mint Tea Recipe – Mint Tea with Lemon and Orange Juice
  • Fennel and Orange Salad With Mint

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Crystal of the Day for April 9th – Apache Gold

Crystal of the Day for April 9th

Apache Gold

Apache Gold may be used to stimulate digestion and to work up an appetite. Next to that this stone makes sure that stomach and intestines are in good working order and also that nutrients, vitamins and minerals are assimilated by the body. Apache Gold may also be used to dispel diseases of the ear. In magick Apache Gold is used in ceremonial magick and shamanistic travel. In meditation Apache Gold is a grounding stone. Apache Gold is also called Pyrite Agate.

Text © copyright Branwynn Annwn. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. No portion of this issue may be reproduced and/or disclosed publicly in any way, shape or form without the written permission of the editor/author Branwynn Annwn. Feel free to share with a friend.

Smiling is infectious, you catch it like the flu.

Smiling is infectious, you catch it like the flu.

When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too.
I passed around the corner, and someone saw my grin –
and when he smiled I realized, I’d passed it on to him.
I thought about that grin, then I realized its worth,
A single smile, just like mine, could travel round the earth.
So, if you feel a smile begins, don’t leave it undetected –
Let’s start an epidemic quick and get the world infected !



Many people find Wicca because they are dissatisfied with the religion that they
are currently involved in, though they are deeply spiritual and believe firmly
in another Power. For many, the Church is too structured, or too conservative,
or does not fulfill some kind of need within the individual. This is common for
many people who are born into a religion. Just because your parents believe
something does not mean that you are going to believe it!

So, now that you have found Wicca, how are you going to know if it is right for

The only way you will ever know for certain if it is for you is to try it.

However, before you jump headlong into any religion, I suggest you read plenty
of information about it.

The World Wide Web is actually an excellent source of information, and is stock
full of various places that will give you all the beginning info that you could
ever hope to attain. After you read everything that you can, ask yourself, “DO I
believe in the core of Wicca?”

If you have done enough reading on Wicca you will have come across the Wiccan
Rede, which is a poem which beautifully illustrates the Wiccan belief.

The most important rule in the Rede is: “‘An it harm none, do what ye will.” It
speaks for itself: you may practice whatever magick you want as long as you harm
none, including yourself.

If you do not believe in the Wiccan Rede, or cannot uphold it and live by it,
then Wicca is not for you.

So what if you accept the Rede, have read extensively but still aren’t sure if
it will work for you? Well, first things first: if you don’t believe that magick
will work for you, then it won’t.

Simple as that. It can work for you, but you must believe in yourself! That is a
primary tenet of Wicca. There is no harm in trying it. Cast yourself a circle,
pray, and talk to the Goddess and the God.

If you feel silly or uncomfortable, or doubt that what you are doing is really
making any progress, then you probably want to try something else.

Like any other religion, Wicca is not for everyone. It is only for those who are
comfortable in a loosely structured religion, who are open minded and are
patient enough to learn all that Wicca has to offer.

This does not mean, however, that Paganism is not for you.

Paganism encompasses many other religions, such as Shamanism, Nordic religions,
Druidic and so on.

The best thing for you to do is read, study, experiment and trust yourself. If
it is right for you, it will come to you. Don’t force yourself just because you
think it is “cool.”

ANYONE can practice magick, but not everyone is a Wiccan.

Getting Started On Your Spiritual Education Path

Getting Started On Your Spiritual Education Path

Any spiritual practice requires research and study. Witchcraft is no different
than any other path. Here is some basic info, words of caution, and suggestions
for reading and starting your research.

How Can I Learn More?
If you are one of the many people looking for information on how to become a
witch, there are a few things you should ask yourself first.

1. What is your reason for wanting to be a Witch?
If your reason is simply so you can cast a spell, it’s the wrong reason and you
might find more information if you look for Spellcraft, than Witchcraft.
If your reasons are truly from an interest in the faith or you feel drawn to the
Craft as a religion, then you maybe on the right path. But you should learn more
and make an informed decision.

2. Are you willing to live by the spiritual laws as a way of life?
If you are, or if you’re not sure, do a lot of research on your own and find out
as much as you can about the path you’ve chosen.

3. How Do I Get Started?
Read, learn and read a lot more. Do your own research, and not just from magikal
books or reference manuals. Through studying history, other religions and how
they all inter-relate and interact. I have a favorite saying for this type of
education: “Books can give you knowledge. But only your own personal experiences
give you wisdom to decide your own path.”

Words of Warning.
Don’t take one persons word or teachings as the only truth or as the only way on
this or any spiritual path. No one person has all the answers for you. Only you
know what rings true within your own heart and soul.

When it comes time for you to chose a mentor, be very cautious. There are a lot
of novice people claiming to be a High Priest or Priestess.
The best advice I could give is find someone who can prove they have practiced
the path for several years (my standard is 10 years or more).

Don’t just take their word for it.
Find someone who is willing to answer your questions without charging you money.

Taking a class and paying for an instructors time is NOT the same thing as
finding a “spiritual teacher”. (Classes are wonderful for making new friends and
learning in a group.)

What you should really be looking for is a mentor or guide, not a person who
thinks they have the right to tell you what to do or believe.

Lastly, always question!

Question everything you are told and everything you read.

Research other material to validate what you are being told or what you read in
a book.

Make sure that a book is supported by other books and by history itself.

Where Can I Get More Information?

You can begin your study through several publications. Below is a list of a few
I like. If you’re truly interested in beginning your study, start at the top and
go through the list. You’ll also find an extensive resource on our Books &
Resources page.

But if you can’t wait, start now through the many wonderful web sites on the
internet. Of course I like our site, but it’s not the only pagan education site
on the web.

You should start with the basics, an understanding of metaphysical principles.
Then move on to the lessons of the craft. It will make your journey into magik
much easier to understand and utilize.

Where Can I Get More Information?

My students start their research on these first 4 books to gain basic
understanding of the spirit, energy and your own inner awareness. To be read in
this specific order:

* Spirit Guides by Iris Belhayes
This gives you a basic understanding of how you can work with spirit to learn,
advance and enlighten. Something that’s key to any spiritual development.

* Opening To Channel by Sonya Roman & Duane Parker
This builds on Spirit Guides. Where the first book gives you the basic
understanding of spiritual guidance; this one tells you how to better
communicate with spirit. Not just spirit guides; but the Divine as well.

* Living In The Light by Shakti Gwain
This book describes our responsibility and accountability to our own path. I
love this book and feel that it truly changed my life. So I added it to my list.

* The Spiral Dance by Starhawk
The first book into Witchcraft. StarHawk and Dorien Valiente are, in my humble
opinion, the mothers of modern Witchcraft. Both have a great understanding of
the path, it’s spirituality and purpose.

What Path/Tradition Do I Chose?

When you are starting your research, the “tradition” should be the last thing on
your mind.

Before you can find a practice for your beliefs, you have to understand the

When you have established this base of knowledge, I would suggest you follow
your heart.

If you feel drawn to Faeries, research Faery Traditions, or Native American
cultures research Shamanistic practices.

If you feel drawn to your Irish heritage, research Celtic traditions.

If you feel drawn to your Scandinavian heritage, research Norse traditions.

If what you’ve heard about Wicca appeals to you, research the various Wiccan
traditions. And so on.

The point is, the tradition you chose should ‘feel’ comfortable and natural to

What Do I Call Myself?

For now, if you need a label, call your self a “beginning pagan”.

After getting an understanding of the basics of belief and metaphysical
principles, my students are required to pass a written and oral test.

At that time, they’ve earned the right to claim the title of Apprentice. Some
chose to change it as Apprenticing Witch, Apprenticing Pagan, or for those who
have the ambition and desire, Apprenticing Shaman.

Some people think they can study a tradition and claim the title of that

There are many Wiccans who follow that practice.

The problem is, many traditions such as Wicca, require a process of initiation
before claiming the title.

To many practitioners of those traditions that require initiations, claiming the
title without the formal education is seen as disrespectful and insulting.

There is no shame in claiming that you are a “beginning practitioner”.

Many established Pagans, Priests/Priestesses and Elders will have a greater
admiration and respect for you if you’re honest about your standing.

They will also be more likely to help you and answer your questions.

And one day- YOU will be the “teacher” to a “beginner” 🙂

author unknown**



I’ve heard the terms ‘White Witch’ and ‘Black Witch’. Can you explain?

In this connotation, white is referring to Positive, Black is referring to
Negative. A White Witch then is someone who tries to do Positive or Good things.
Black Witch could be a term used to describe someone who deliberately does
Negative or Bad things.  A True Witch believes in the Law of Retribution and
would never deliberately harm anyone or anything or participate in Negative or
Destructive acts.
Is it possible for me to practice Witchcraft and remain a Christian?

No. The Christian Doctrine states, unequivocally, that Christians shall have no
other Gods before the Christian God. Christian Doctrine says to believe in any
other deities or to practice any other religion is not only evil but should be
punished by death, specifically naming Witchcraft. The Christian Doctrine also
denies Reincarnation and prescribes punishment for those who practice Magick.

Devil worship?

Witches do not worship the Devil. Witchcraft predates Christianity and does not
incorporate a belief in the Christian Devil.

The Wise Ones did deify the Masculine Principle and quite often He was depicted
as The Great Horned God; Pan, Cernunnos, the Great Stag, The Green Man. To the
Traditional Witch, the Masculine Deity (the Goddess’ Consort) is very important,
revered and loved. He is the perfect Father, the Lord Protector. The Horned God
of the Witches is loving, kind and good.

Don’t men have difficulty with a supreme female deity?

There are some groups which give equal status to the female and male deities.
Neo-Pagans are, by definition, people who attempt to live with the Old Country
Ways in a new, modern day manner.  And while, in this modern era, equal status
for the deities may be popular, as it relates to Witchcraft it is historically
incorrect. Therefore, a group which does not recognize the Goddess as primary
deity is not practicing The Ancient Art. Indeed, they, generally, know very
little about Witchcraft, despite their claims.   Traditional Dualistic Witches
do most emphatically believe that women and men are equal, but have no trouble
relating to the Goddess. The Male Witch finds great comfort and solace in his
Great Mother.

Do I have to join a Coven?

No. It is not necessary nor is it desirable for a great many people. Some people
enjoy the support and companionship a Coven provides, others enjoy solitary
worship. The Coven, which is an extremely close knit worship group, may not be
possible for some because of location, family climate, availability, etc.

Why is Witchcraft secretive?

The horror of the ‘Burning Time’ is still very real to the Witch. The past
persecutions were severe. Even so, in today’s more enlightened society the need
for complete secrecy has lessened and many are able to share their beliefs
openly. Very few, however, are willing to expose their very personal and private
religious expressions to others who may not understand.

What do I have to do to become a Witch?

The answer to this question is very simple. To become a Witch one must follow
the religion of Witchcraft. To do this one must believe in the Goddess as
primary deity and follow the three basic tenets. How simple! How uncomplicated!
How Pagan! Everything else concerning witchcraft is simply minor details.
Details that vary from Aspect to Aspect, Coven to Coven and individual to
individual. The details are relatively personal. They should not become more
important than the basic tenets. If you do not understand, believe and practice
Witchcraft, you are not a Witch. No one can make you a Witch. Reading about it
can not make you a Witch. An Initiation can not make you a Witch. Saying you are
a Witch, one thousand and fifty two times, can not make you a Witch.

In the search for your individual path beware of those who would take advantage
of you.   Do not fall prey to the unscrupulous charlatans who would swindle you
in a monetary sense (mail-order courses, charges for teaching or initiations,
vows of poverty, etc.), exploit you sexually or manipulate you for their own
personal ego-trips.

‘Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true
happiness.’ — Bertrand Russell



Many people just discovering the Craft have asked me how does one become a Witch

. The answer to that is one does not become a Witch…..they are a Witch, and it
is just reaching down and finding it within them. It is not a matter of
“becoming” a Witch, but finding the Witch within and, while the answer is quite
simple, yet; to some, it can be quite complex. It is really not difficult once
you find that inner Witch within. But that is where it must come from and not
from any book that you read. Reading books, joining covens and/or someone who
initiates one into Witchcraft does not make one a Witch. It is you and you
alone. Once you discover and decided that you are a Witch, you are deciding to
embrace a life-enhancing and joyful spiritual path. You are declaring that you
are willing to experience the wonders of the magickal web and encounter the
Goddess. You are daring to be different in a way that facilitates your growth
and empowers you. Most importantly, you are stepping into the spiral dance of
life, celebrated by Witches all over the world.

Becoming a Witch means learning how to work ritual and magick, methods of
raising, containing and releasing power, how to work with the energies of the
moon and earth and the principles of sympathetic magick upon which most
Witchcraft magick is based.

Witches are very unique individuals and some, no……. many, might call us
strange. We look at life differently; we live life differently; and we
experience life differently. We find beauty and laughter in the simplest things.
We believe that magick is in life itself.

Some people who become interested in Witchcraft have expectations that Witches
are gifted with amazing powers as the result of a particular ceremony or spell.
The truth is more mundane than the fantasy. Witchcraft is about growing within
your own spirituality, making contact with the web of magick, learning how to
weave, and observing the way the world works. Witchcraft is about working with
natural energies, observing how they work, and determining how you can gently
divert them and not about moving things around at will.

The decision to become a Witch is not one you should take lightly. It is not a
persona you can put on or take off at will. Witchcraft becomes your whole life
and can drastically change your perception of the world in which you live.
Becoming a Witch will affect everything and everyone around you. That it will
affect them positively does not alter the fact that you will relate to them
differently and you should be prepared for this.

To become a Witch is to become changed within yourself and a changer of things
outside you. This is your inner magick. Encountering the Goddess, working with
magick and connecting with nature will take a lot of time and energy until it
becomes second nature to you. You may find that you get angry with those people
who do not understand Witchcraft or paint it as “evil” but you will have to
resist putting them right until you have grasped some of the key concepts for
yourself. This can be achieved only through experience and this means practicing
patience which means embracing the Crone energies of wisdom and patience, and
this can take quite some time.

Once your decision is made, you have already stepped onto the path of
Witchcraft. The next step depends on the type of person you are. If you are a
fiery, adventurous sort of person, you will probably wish to throw yourself into
studying everything at once. You will want to read everything you get your hands
on, hoping that the more you read, the more experience you will have and the
wiser you will be. Unfortunately, experience and wisdom work together and that
comes with life experiences which comes with age. That is why so much emphasis
is put on the Crone for her having wisdom. She has experienced life; she has
stumbled and fell and picked herself up over the years until she hardly falls
anymore. She has learned when it is time to speak and when it is time to be
silent. She is the Raven and the Owl all rolled into one. The Raven is very
vocal whereas the owl practices silence and is silent in everything that it
does. If you are more cautious or laid back, you may wish to learn gradually and
thoroughly. One of the lessons that the Craft has to teach is to be resourceful.

So, I think the best place to start is within your heart and soul. I am not
talking about being a pagan but a Witch. Being a pagan and being a Witch are two
separate things. Pagans tend to work more with the Sabbats and attend
celebrations and many now call themselves Wiccans. There are many pagans who do
not have anything to do with magick. You may have heard that old saying that all
Witches are pagans but not all pagans were Witches. That is because before the
God of Abraham came and then later Christianity, most people were pagans and
their beliefs were centered around agriculture, because most were farmers.
However, you then had your mid-wives and healing women, who were pagans, who
attended to the towns people when they were sick or when a woman became with
child. These wise women were also consulted when women wished not to have a
child. They consulted these women from birthing to healing the sick through
herbs which were grown and tended to by these women. The wise women grew and
harvested their herbs by the Moon and lived also by the Moon. These wise women
were also consulted for divination purposes and potions. Years later these wise
women were called Witches and later on, they were tortured and burned. See Crone
Turns Witch for a more in-depth reading.

My first suggestion would be to get in touch with the Moon and knowing when She
is full and dark, and when She is waning or waxing. Notice how you feel when the
moon moves through the phases. Do not feel that the only time to do magick and
work with Her energies is when the moon is waxing to full. You can work with Her
energies any time of the month. I seem to come more alive when the Moon moves
into Her waning phase and up to Dark Moon, whom many call New Moon. But that
might be because I was born on a Balsamic Moon (Dark Moon). I prefer to call the
Moon what it is….dark, and give it back to the Crone, where it belongs, and
give the New Moon back to the Maiden, where it belongs, when it is the first
thin sliver in the sky. I also burn a white candle when the Moon starts to wax
in honor of the Maiden; I burn a red candle when the Moon is full in honor of
the Mother; and I burn a black candle on the Dark of the Moon in honor of the
Goddess. You will be surprised how this helps you to be connected with the Moon
and with the Goddess all at the same time.

My second suggestion is to read and read as many books as you can. We are so
fortunate in this day and age to have the abundance of books on the Craft. Even
if you are not Wiccan, there is a lot of material to be found in books on Wicca.
I think the most informative book and a must to have in every Witch’s library is
Scott Cunningham’s “Wicca, A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner.” His book is
very easy to follow, and he explains the art of ritual design, the Witch’s tools
and many other important things. If it is magick you want, then besides Hecate’s
Cauldron, you will find Scott Cunningham’s Book of Incense, Oils and Brews is
yet another must to have sitting on your Witch’s cupboard. But keep the spiders
away, as they love this book! There is also another wonderful book by Shekhinah
Mountainwater entitled “Ariadne’s Thread.” It is a workbook of Goddess magick
and many Witches today are discovering this wonderful book.

I would also suggest to jump right into ritual work and doing spells as well. As
mentioned above, Scott Cunningham’s books are excellent for the beginning Witch.
Remember, practice makes perfect. There are many new in the Craft who are afraid
to do magick, fearing that they might do something wrong. Witches of yesteryear
lived quite, simple lives and their magick was simple as well. Many did not even
do rituals when they performed a spell. They were Witches and not magicians. If
you follow the cycles of the moon and do magick according to those cycles, you
have accomplished half the battle. A little homework, and you will be fine.

If possible, growing herbs not only for cooking but for medicinal purposes as
well is very rewarding for a Witch. Did you know that during the Burning Times,
any woman having the herb Basil in her cupboard was considered a Witch? I love
Basil and have it growing in my herb box, as well as Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary,and Dill. Learn to know the magickal properties of herbs, and as you sprinkle these herbs in the cauldron on your stove, cast that magick into the food that you and your family eat. When I drink hazelnut coffee, I charge my coffee for my psyche, as hazelnut is good for psychic abilities. Cinnamon is also great for psychic abilities. . I always drink cinnamon tea before I do tarot readings. As you sprinkle nutmeg and cinnamon into your apple pies, charge your pies as well to help you in your psychic ability. If you cannot grow the herbs, there is always fresh herbs in your local grocery store. However, one small potted plant of a particular herb will give you much satisfaction. There is so much a Witch can do while cooking on the stove in her cauldrons!

As far as computers are concerned, I consider my computer a form of cauldron
where I conjure and stir things up. There are many Witches who have a special
magickal name for their computers, as do I.

There are more and more Witches wishing to connect more with the Moon and Her energies and walking Her path. Walking the path of the Goddess is a very simple one and it is very spiritual and brings you inner peace because it is through the Goddess that you will find this. So, get out in the fresh air and see all Her beauty and nature all around you and that includes the leaveless trees in
winter to the bursting foliage in the spring for the Goddess is not only the
Moon but nature itself and She is Mother Earth, and She is the seasons. More
information on the Goddess path can be found on The Path of the Goddess.

You can also start each day with a prayer to the Goddess to give you strength
and wisdom throughout the day and at the end of each day say a pray thanking Her for giving you the strength and wisdom. You can also light a sacred candle in Her honor each night when you get home from work. You can burn a scented candle as well. I burn a scented candle depending on what the Moon is doing. When the moon is waning, each night I light a candle scented with cloves to banish negativity and when the moon is waxing, I burn a scented candle to bring abundance into my life.

I would also like to add that you really do not need “magickal tools” in order
to be a Witch. Tools are nice to have and work with; however, they are not
necessary. Everything you need is inside of you. Tools belong in the category of
ceremonial magicians and Wiccans. Gerald Gardner was a Free Mason and belonged to the Golden Dawn. The Golden Dawn pulled things from The Key of Solomon.

Witches of yesteryear were simple folk who used what they had in and around
the house. And during the Burning Times, it could cost them their lives to have
“magickal tools.” Witchcraft is of the heart, mind and soul and not from
magickal tools.

The sky is the limit, because we Witches reach for the sky~so fly!

Author unknown

Earth Science Pic for April 9th – Bubble Columns in River Ice (Hmm..)

Bubble Columns in River Ice

April 09, 2012RiverIceBubblesIMG_1123_LR
Photographer: Roger Benoit
Summary Author: Roger Benoit; Jim Foster

This picture showing curious bubbles on the frozen Aar River was taken this past winter near Umiken, Aargau, Switzerland. It had been bitterly cold for several days prior to when the photo was snapped. It’s not known exactly how these bubbles formed, but it’s likely they were released from the riverbed and became trapped under a thin layer of ice. As deeper layers of water froze, perhaps additional bubbles became trapped further down in the ice — closer to the riverbed. Such a mechanism would also explain the flat appearance of individual inclusions. Typically, the faster the freezing rate, the greater the number and the size of the bubbles. In this case, the arrival of very cold air substantially increased the freezing rate. Note that the inside of one of the near-surface bubbles has been exposed (at right center). Photo taken on February 12, 2012.

Astronomy Picture of the Day for April 9th

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2012 April 9
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download the highest resolution version available.

Blue Straggler Stars in Globular Cluster M53
Image Credit: ESA/Hubble, NASA 

Explanation: If our Sun were part of M53, the night sky would glow like a jewel box of bright stars. M53, also known as NGC 5024, is one of about 250 globular clusters that survive in our Galaxy. Most of the stars in M53 are older and redder than our Sun, but some enigmatic stars appear to be bluer and younger. These young stars might contradict the hypothesis that all the stars in M53 formed at nearly the same time. These unusual stars are known as blue stragglers and are unusually common in M53. After much debate, blue stragglers are now thought to be stars rejuvenated by fresh matter falling in from a binary star companion. By analyzing pictures of globular clusters like the above image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers use the abundance of stars like blue stragglers to help determine the age of the globular cluster and hence a limit on the age of the universe. M53, visible with a binoculars towards the constellation of Bernice’s Hair (Coma Berenices), contains over 250,000 stars and is one of the furthest globulars from the center of our Galaxy.

You Are In Two Places at Once

You Are In Two Places at Once

  • Deepak Chopra

Because we are both physical and quantum, human beings live multidimensional lives. At this moment you are in two places at once. One is the visible, sensual world, where your body is subject to all the forces of nature “out there.” The wind chaps your skin and the sun burns it; you will freeze to death in winter without shelter; and the assault of germs and viruses makes your cells sick.

But you also occupy the quantum world, where all these things change. If you get into the bathtub, your consciousness doesn’t get wet. The limitations of physical life count for much less in the quantum world, and often for nothing. The cold of winter doesn’t freeze your memories; the heat of a July night doesn’t make you sweat in your dreams.

Put together all the quantum events in your cells and the sum total is your quantum mechanical body, which operates according to its own unseen physiology. Your quantum mechanical body is awareness in motion and is part of the eternal field of awareness that exists at the source of creation.

The intelligence inside us radiates like light, crossing the border between the quantum world and the physical world, unifying the two in a constant subatomic dialogue. Your physical body and your quantum mechanical body can both be called home – they are like parallel universes that you travel between without even thinking about it.

Physical Body: A frozen anatomical sculpture – “I” sees itself as made of cells, tissues, and organs; confined in time and space; driven by biochemical processes (eating, breathing, digestion, etc.)

Quantum Mechanical Body: A river of intelligence constantly renewing itself – “I” sees itself as made of invisible impulses of intelligence; unbounded in time and space; driven by thoughts, feelings, wishes, memories, etc.

Adapted from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1998).

Are You Old or Young?

Are You Old or Young?

  • Deepak Chopra

The typical American way of handling the polarity of old and young is to fixate on being young forever. But the image of America as the land of eternal youth is grossly at odds with reality.

If we look beyond the false duality of “old” and “young,” what we find is a different reality: The body is a network of messages constantly being transmitted and received. Some of these messages nourish and sustain us, while others lead to disorder and breakdown.

Life-nourishing experiences go far beyond cell biology. The tenderness of a mother watching her toddler walk for the first time feeds the baby’s body (witness how a baby languishes when motherly love is withdrawn, even for a day). To a growing child, the sensitive encouragement of a teacher is as important as a hot lunch. What makes for a straighter spine, vitamin-D milk or self-esteem?

Once we reach adulthood, gaining the wholehearted respect of co-workers wards off heart disease as effectively (and much more naturally) as counting milligrams of cholesterol. Respect makes the heart feel trusting and confident, two ingredients that belong inside any healthy body. The decisions we make in terms of our basic happiness and fulfillment are therefore exactly the ones that determine how we age.

It has dawned on medicine that nurturing is immensely valuable physiologically. If newborns are touched and caressed, their levels of growth hormones increase, and the protective coating of the motor nerves, myelin, becomes thicker. A mother’s loving urge to cuddle her baby translates directly into life-sustaining biochemical reactions.

Babies deprived of loving attention can become emotionally stunted or dysfunctional. The instinct for emotional nourishment proves more powerful than does that for physical nourishment.

Adapted from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1998).

Daily Cosmic Calendar for April 9th

Here’s yet another day when being patient in the early hours is the path of wisdom. The Moon is void in Scorpio until 8:13AM PDT when the lunar orb shifts into the fiery, enthusiastic sign of Sagittarius. Sagittarius Moon usually carries a note of optimism, goal-orientation, and enjoyment of athletics and adventures in the great outdoors. While those keynotes are still available, you will need to gingerly move through a caustic, 45-degree link from Venus to Vesta (8:24AM PDT). This aspect places a warning on fooling around with assets and investments. Fortunately, some better business vibes may come into play as Venus forms a supportive, 60-degree rapport with innovative Uranus (9:53AM PDT) while productivity-enhancer Ceres enters earthy and pragmatic Taurus (1:41PM PDT) until June 23 and the Sun makes a fairly rare union with Vesta (5:07PM PDT). Thus, the tentative and questionable morning energy-field appears to be strengthening throughout the day. Plus – the Sun conjunction with Vesta is definitely a vast improvement business-wise over the Venus-Vesta skirmish. Be more fashion-conscious as the Moon makes its monthly union with Juno (6:37PM PDT). Add touches of beauty and elegance around your residence. Think of new ways to empower your primary partnerships. Do your best to prepare for tomorrow morning’s Pluto shift from direct to retrograde.