The Protection Lamp
Add one bottle of Protection Oil and five herbs of protective qualities or four herbs and five-finger grass. Pray to the Guardian Angel, St. Michael, or St. Barbara.
"Witchcraft for the 21st Century"
Add one bottle of Protection Oil and five herbs of protective qualities or four herbs and five-finger grass. Pray to the Guardian Angel, St. Michael, or St. Barbara.
To this lamp add the following: one bottle Success Oil and five herbs associated with success, or four herbs and five-finger grass. A prayer to St. Anthony is used.
Good for court cases and legal matters. Add the following: galangal root, yellow dock, snake root, carnation, and five-finger grass, one bottle of Friendly Judge Oil.
Say a prayer to Saint Basil.
To your basic fuel add the following: one bottle of Love Oil, five herbs associated with love or four herbs and some five-finger grass. Use a prayer to Saint Anne.
This lamp, as with all other lamps, will contain a universal fluid mixture plus a magnet, a personal object from the person the lamp is for, or their name written on parchment paper cut in the form of a cross. You will place this at the bottom of your lamp and pour your fuel over this and the magnet. Since this lamp is being made for health, we will add the following: one Bottle of Health Attracting Oil and one half teaspoon of the following herbs: heal-all, peppermint, eucalyptus, etc. (a combination of five different healing herbs or four herbs and five-finger grass. The prayer used is directed to Our Lady of Lourdes (used by the French) or St. Joseph (used by the Italians).
To correctly use the lamp, the flame must not be extinguished once it is lit, and as you say your prayer and state your desire, you must shake the lamp in a clockwise direction to get the ingredients in the lamp moving in a clockwise direction to get the ingredients in the lamp moving in a clockwise direction. Again this must be done daily and at the same time each day until satisfied.
The type of lamp used to make these magick lamps is the hurricane or kerosene lamp. Like the gris-gris bags, the magick lamps are made for many purposes. The basic fuel used in making these lamps is a blend of castor, oil, olive oil and kerosene. Here you will use two-thirds kerosene to one-third oil mixture. To this basic fuel mixture is added other ingredients which are analogous to the work being done. Here you will add diverse ingredients such as magnets, essential oils, herbs, pepper, red wine, etc.
When properly made, the lamps have excellent results. The results obtained from working with lamps is best when prayers are said as you fill the lamp with more fuel each day at the same time. Once the lamp is lit, it cannot be extinguished until satisfaction is obtained. If you don’t need to fill the hurricane lamp as you say your prayer, then the lamp is moved in a circular motion, clockwise, as you repeat your desire. The prayer which has always been given to use with the lamp has always been directed to a particular Saint (Catholic influence).
Instead of directing prayers to Saints, Pagans can invoke their Gods and Goddesses.
Take a brown candle and write your enemy’s name three times on it. Place it in a bowl filled with brown sugar. Light the candle and affirm: “Your hostility, I’ll overcome. In day of nine, your friendship is mine.” Do this before you go to bed. Allow the candle to burn itself out while you sleep. In the morning take what is left of the candle wax and the brown sugar and throw it in your enemy’s yard. Do this for nine consecutive days without fail.
Take a small jar. Write your enemy’s name nine times on a piece of paper and put this in the jar. Fill the jar with Four Thieves Vinegar and throw it into a river.
Take a small mirror which your lover has looked into. Without looking into the mirror, break it into small pieces. Bury the broken mirror in your yard or in a flower pot you keep in your home. Every Friday, sprinkle the spot with a tea made from Spikenard Herb while repeating the name of your lover.
Take a High John the Conqueror Root and anoint it with John the Conqueror Oil. On a piece of brown paper, write the name of the person you wish to control/conquer and soak the paper in Controlling Oil. When the paper is dry, wrap it around the High John the Conqueror root and tie with purple thread.
Tie equal portion of the ingredients into the square of linen. Whisper to the sachet your intent to cleanse yourself of all negative energies. Crush the ingredients with your hands. Place the sachet directly under the running water. As you soak in the bath, allow all of the negative things in your life to leave your spirit and flow into the water. When you emerge from the tub, be sure to bless your new self. It is proper to ask the Goddess to recycle the energies in the water and use them for positive purposes.
Most Witches partake in magickal bathing. A magickal bath is considered important for cleansing the spirit, the same way regular bathing is for cleansing the body. Magickal baths work best by candlelight, with herbal, oil, and/or salt additions, corresponding to the need. You can also use magickal bathing to allow the water to work on you and impart some of its wisdom to you, through your immersion in it. In this manner, a magickal bath can be used for spell casting.
Got a wish you want to come true? This is the mixture for you.
You will need:
Combine all the ingredients together. Empower each of them as you add them to the mixture. Put them in a pan and place on the stove. Bring to a boil and let boil for 3 minutes. After the mixture has boiled, it is ready to be added to cold wash water. You can bless the mixture as you add it to the wash:My wishes will come to me, to take care of myself and my family. With harm to none and good will to all, Mother of mine, hear my call. Bring these desired goals to me, so that me and mine will blessed be.
Combine all ingredients, empowering them one by one by stating aloud the specific function of each. Bless the ingredients on your altar. Put the mixture in a dark area for a week. Take it out once a day, shake the mixture, bless it and then put it back. It would be best, if at all possible, to bless this mixture under the Full Moon. After a week, you can add the mixture to a bucket of warm water.
The mixture smells fantastic, so be prepared for a very pleasant cleaning experience.
Magic 365: Six Simple Ways To Practice Magic Every Day
Author: Violet Seas
Practicing the Craft takes exactly that: practice. It is much like writing, I’ve found, in that if you don’t make a plan to somehow, in some way, fit it into your busy schedule every day of the week, it lies fallow. This seems likes a lot, as if somehow in our crazy times, in which we make time for foolish things like Facebook or Angry Birds, or the dreaded Farmville, finding time to practice this wonderful religion of ours is simply out of the question. But it’s not impossible, in fact, it’s simple and easy, and there’s one for every type of magick you can think of.
Wash It Off
Ritual baths are a wonderful way to cleanse your aura and focus your thoughts before ritual, but honestly, who has the time? Instead of a lengthy soak, try starting (or ending) your day with a cleansing shower. Visualize all your negativity washing down the drain with the dirt and grime. For added emphasize, you can purchase a special body wash for this purpose. I love to use a blend of eucalyptus and spearmint that works as a stress reliever after a very long day. As you towel off, you can go through your blessings of the God and Goddess, which is a great practice for self-love, as well as daily magick.
One of the easiest ways I’ve found to bring in magick is simple stone magick. I have a plethora of tumbled stones chosen and empowered with intent. When you wake up in the morning, make it part of your routine. Get up, get dressed, and get empowered. You can choose to carry one in your pocket or bra, put a few in a pouch, or you can make your own stone jewelry and wear your charms wherever you go. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as wire wrapping stones into pendants, or simply gluing stones to staple pieces. A wealth of base bracelets, rings, and even earring findings can be found at your local craft store, just waiting to be spelled. Quartz or selenite is a great place to start, for simple cleansing, empowerment, and protection. Try fluorite for knowledge retention, bloodstone for strength, tiger’s eye for courage, or howlite for a soothing calm.
If you’re more inclined to herbal magick, you can wear an oil made of your favorite herbs, or simply put your favorite blend in a locket or secret-ring. With a $3 investment in a tea-ball you could brew a concoction to get your morning starting off with an extra boost, or calm a stressful day. For more permanent charms, you could sew a small pouch of herbs into a favorite scarf or knit hat for an herbal remedy you can wear every day when you need the comfort. A little lavender in a cage ring can help calm your mind in a stressful situation, and a little sage close by is great for clearing mental clutter.
Doing a tarot card or rune a day is the best way to familiarize yourself with the energies of your desk, and simply to memorize their meanings! They are important tools of magick, and if you wish to utilize them, they require lots and lots of practice, just like any other instrument you utilize in your life. Did you learn bake a cake perfectly the first time? Then what makes you think a tarot deck will work without fail on your initial reading? Practice, practice, ladies and gents! You can do a simple spread for a quick interpretation, or something more complex, such as the Sword or the Mandela format. Pendulums are great as well. You could do these techniques as you settle down to bed to see what’s in store for you tomorrow.
A bottle of witch hazel (found next to the rubbing alcohol in the medical section) , rose petals, a rose quartz, and one simple incantation (Imperfections go away; beauty of Venus come forth today!) makes an inexpensive, yet powerful, beautification potion. Your spell will be ready in one week, simply shake daily and chant the aforementioned incantation, which again, takes only moments. Simply dab it over a cotton ball and use as you would any facial cleanser or toner. It takes just a few seconds, and can easily be incorporated into your daily beauty ritual for clearer skin and a smoother complexion.
Lighting a candle takes just a few seconds, and the scent, the sight, can ease our pains and alight the senses. It is said that having a white candle lit often can activate the spirit of your house, bringing about a greater sense of peace and comfort. You don’t need that gigantic candle that costs more than a silk shirt either. I use a simple pentagram soapstone candle holder from a thrift store and a white tea light a day, which can be purchased in bags of 150 for a few dollars at your local Wal-Mart. Not so tricky now, is it? And you can use candle magick for all sorts of things every single day, whether it’s a great big candle you snuff out daily, or tiny handmade kosher candles that you can find in the aisle of your local grocery store. You can make it part of your morning as a simple affirmation for something you’re looking to change in your life. Whether it’s a reminder for strength, self-love, or acceptance, you’re limited only by your imagination.
Magick is everywhere. We know this. It is a force in all we encounter and everything we do… every breeze, every flower, every book, and every breath. There’s no need to feel as if it is some far away, impossible to obtain, thing. It is as in your grasp as the computer mouse beneath your hand and the keyboard beneath your fingertips. Magick awaits. Take hold of it, command it, and use it wisely.
Everyday Witchcraft by Dorothy Morrison
Magic: A Young Seeker’s Explanation for Fellow Seekers
Author: Alexander Cheves
Magic was the hardest thing for me to come to terms with on my journey into Paganism and Wicca. I was a young teenage guy, I was logical, and I was brought up by medical professionals in a conservative Southern Baptist household in the wooded countryside of North Georgia. I was taught the value of ethics, education and spiritual discipline, and I were taught that God loves me.
I found Wicca, or Wicca had found me, in the same way that I imagine religion finds most people. We stumble through life searching for meaning, purpose, fulfillment and happiness, and sometimes along that journey we are lucky enough to have rare, beautiful experiences in which we feel truly alive. Sometimes we dismiss them as great feelings, but sometimes we see them as something more. When the latter happens, we feel perhaps like our eyes have opened up and we have arrived home into the warmth of a familiar-feeling idea or deity. We are taken to a place within ourselves in which we find truth, and even greater than truth, a breathtaking sense of purpose: we belong here.
I owe a lot to Christianity. Aside from being a rich and beautiful faith in which I grew in my journey with God, Christianity provided me the spiritual discipline and religious mindset that eventually led me from it. I understood prayer and I understood ritual, the symbolic breaking of bread, the power of music to direct one’s focus and consciousness at something higher. So as I began reading more and more books on the Pagan or Neo-Pagan faiths, primarily Wicca, I readily accepted the concepts of the polytheistic duality of deity, of the God and Goddess, and the pantheistic concept of the natural world being divine as the substance, manifestation and vessel of deity. These concepts, although unlike anything I had ever read before, felt familiar and beautiful and true, and they gave me purpose and made me feel alive. It felt like coming home. But magic (or “magick” as some Wiccans spell it, simply to distinguish it from parlor tricks and entertainment shows) continued to be a stumbling block for me.
Magic happens when I look up at the stars, when I hope, when I place my hand on someone’s shoulder as they cry. When I look up at the stars, I am reminded of my smallness and my uncertainty, and that first and familiar awe is rekindled in me, the awe that I feel when I face all that I don’t know and all that I have to trust. It gives me hope, humility, and a sense of worship – a sense that I am not alone, that I am guided through this. When I hope, I’m projecting my positive energies onto the world around me to make it better. When I place my hand on someone’s shoulder, I am connecting with him or her on the most basic level of human communication: Touch.
Touch is something that starts in the womb and infancy and sustains us throughout our lives. This powerful and simple action is comforting because it connects us to that place of infancy in which we all needed to be held and cared for, and it reminds us on a deep level that life and struggle are shared experiences. But on a surface level, as I touch my friend’s shoulder, all that is occurring is the transference of my warmth, my pulse, the vibration of my cells, the energies that constitute me as a human being, to another person: Magic.
Scott Cunningham in his famous, singular work Wicca: A Guide For the Solitary Practitioner, defines magic as “the projection of natural energies to produce needed effects.” As a Wiccan of five years, I am still learning and growing in my understanding of magic. I have had discussions with many different people and read several different perspectives on the subject of magic. I’ve realized that magic is often what draws people to Wicca. Ideas of personal power and sorcery, casting spells and curses and controlling others are probably very attractive and romantic ideas to those who don’t know what the Wiccan concept of magic really is. As can be seen in the examples above, magic is a natural occurrence. It happens every day.
Cunningham claimed that the energies employed to make magic come from three primary sources: the self, the earth, and deity. As I have studied, I have found these three to be the most common and accepted sources of energy in Wiccan thought. The energy that comes from the self is simply the life force that runs through all living things. We humans gain this energy through food, exercise, breathing, living, from the body’s natural processes and from the power of one’s will. The earth holds energies within its natural phenomena. This is why rocks are commonly used as ritual items in Wicca. Rocks often have molecular qualities that can be medically beneficial to human beings; they act as powerful symbols with which the subconscious mind communicates to our conscious selves; and most of all, rocks and crystals vibrate with the old, raw and natural energies of the earth. Lastly, deity – the divine energy, the God and Goddess, the Great Spirit, God, the All – whatever one may wish to call the forces that guide us – provide us with the greatest source of energy: divine energy.
In common Wiccan thought, the God and Goddess are twin energies that run through everything that exists, and we humans have cast them in our image in order to better understand them. I believe that we are also cast in their image, and are, out of all the living creatures on the planet, the closest to them, for we humans are given the greatest burden and responsibility: to care for the earth and for one another. Divine energy is the core substance of all the other energies, for the energies within ourselves are directed by higher forces, and the energies inherent in the earth are the presence of divinity in nature. In Wicca, there is no distinction between deity and creation. God is both the substance of all that is and also the energy that runs through it. This energy is divine energy.
In Wiccan thought, magic occurs when one takes these energies and uses them to meet practical, real-world needs, such as the need for comfort and money and faith and protection. I have used magic to help my suffering loved ones, to aid in my ability to concentrate and remember information for a test, to help me relax, to help me grieve, to give me faith, to keep me strong when I need to be brave, to give me direction, to help me make a decision, to help me financially, to get me through a hard day – the list goes on. How does one use these energies in order to produce magic?
Many Wiccans use tools and practices, such as ritual, meditation, prayer, and craft-making to create objects that help focus the applied energies, but at the heart of all these is the presence of faith. One must believe that the desired result will happen. Often faith is all it takes.
Finally, over all of this, one must believe that, if the magic doesn’t work, higher forces are guiding the world and are involved in the circumstances that one is trying to influence. If we were left totally in control of our lives, then we would never grow. That is perhaps the greatest religious struggle: trusting deity, and trusting oneself to know when to act and when to let go.
Although a major part of Wicca, the Wiccan understanding of magic is practical and practicable for anyone. Magic has certainly helped me get to where I am now: it guides me through my journey of faith and through my everyday life. Like prayer, it is something I cannot live without. Rather than practice specific, written-down, structured ritual to create magic, I have found that the spontaneous actions and experiences that I create for myself without any ritual tools (wand, stones, bell, salt, water, candles, an altar, etc.) often work the best for me. As my journey has progressed, my earliest teachings of God have been affirmed: education and ethics are essential to my sense of fulfillment, and God loves me.
Once, many years ago, I accidentally found a few books on Wicca when I visited my local Barnes and Nobel. I flipped through them lightly, rejected them all as garbage and left them on the shelf. I felt that surely my religious questioning and my searching was not taking me there. But later, on a cool night in Zambia, Africa, I slept beneath the stars. There was no smog or air pollution, no bright lights, and no cities. There were bush villages in that darkness, which at the most produced smoke columns from cooking fires. Nothing blotted out the sky, and the stars were so clear that they fell to the horizon line. I at last felt the sensation that we are on a large sphere hurtling through space. I was in the stars.
There, in that strange place, I held my breath: I was not alone. I had been brought up to see God, a male, Judeo-Christian deity that was loving and protective. But there in those sweet stars I saw a woman. She and the same wild god that I had known before in Christianity were standing beside each other as equals. She was mother, I was seeing her for the first time, and I was home.
Wherever your journey of life takes you, I wish you only the passion to seek, and to keep seeking. There is magic in these woods and these mountains and down the soft shoreline. There is beauty in all that we see if we just look for it. It is enough to simply see that beauty and not understand it. It is enough to stand before the earth and not know what purpose it serves or from whence it came and still kneel before it in awe.
Cunningham, Scott. Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. St. Paul, Minn., U.S.A.: Llewellyn Publications, 1989. Print.
The People You Meet on the Pagan Path
There are always people who leave a mark along our path in our Pagan path. Those people who supported us and who taught us things that, probably, we wouldn’t have learned in any other way. These people are essential and must not be forgotten. After all, no matter how many books we write, how many thesis are made and researches done, there is always space to learn and embrace knowledge that we get through experience and by the teaching of others. That is what I’ll be talking about today.
The solitary path is a path that is often chosen, especially in today’s society in which most Pagan practitioners live in the big metropolis and cities, and where finding a coven is getting harder and harder. These good covens hide themselves more often than you think. And, if covens do ‘go public’, much of the time, they aren’t that big of a thing or there is a high chance that they are not what the practitioners are looking for. Good covens are hard to find. Not only due to their shortage but also because it’s complicated for a solitary to fit their eclectic costumes and already acquired traditions in a group that is as well defined as a coven. It ends up being complicated. Additionally, today’s individualism and our consumer and technological society oft results in isolation from the community around us (in favor of a virtual community) which may lead to a disconnection.
These factors plus the routine and daily busy life of the metropolis leads to shortage of time.
As you can see, there are numerous factors that may stop a solitary practitioner from joining a coven. There is, also, the possibility of the practitioner himself/herself not wanting to join a coven (like my case, for example) .
Don’t judge me wrong, I believe that life in a coven can be amazing and very enriching and, if possible, I recommend the experience if you are so inclined, since all paths teach us something. But, in this article, I’m focusing more on the solitary side of the Pagan practice.
For a solitary, magickal practice requires a routine by which the seeker learns things by himself/herself. We must alone search for authors, read books, research sources, etc. It ends up being our daily lives, so, after a couple of years, it becomes second nature. We know that author X is good and author Y is not that good. We prefer the works of X and not of Z. And so on.
However when we do meet someone who may be able to help us, such as someone with more experience, it’s always great. And, my advice is to take that opportunity. You can share what you know with that person and that person will share her knowledge with you. You can have arguments about a certain theory and, by debating it, reach a common and satisfactory answer. You can read books and discuss opinions on the subject or go to public events and find more people to talk to and learn from or teach.
With the help of others, our path only gets richer. It is still a solitary path and ours in the practical terms, since it is created and followed by us alone, but we always learn a lot interacting with others.
Throughout the years, I’ve met several people (not only online but also in person) who have taught me so much and helped me grow. I’m no longer that girl who thought that Wicca was all fairies and pink and that all other Pagan paths were a simple minority. Today, I have a clear notion of what Paganism is, of Wicca and of several different pagan paths, not only when talking about Neo-Paganism, but also pre-Christian beliefs.
I’m not saying that everyone whom you will meet will teach you something good for you to use in your daily path. But they will teach you something. They might, at least, teach you not to follow their path (if they are one of those crazy nut-heads that go around or a scammer) . Everyone has something to teach you and you must, along your path, learn everything you can from people, whether they are Pagan or not (Yes, even followers of other religions have a lot to teach you, especially when it comes to respecting other people’s beliefs) .
But of course, be careful. Don’t try everything people tell you to try. There are a lot of people who are amazing and who will teach you things that will last for a lifetime but there are also may be people with bad intentions who only want to harm you, scam you or worse. Trust me, I’ve seen people whose only interest in helping others was to gain money or fame or just use that “wanting to help” as a way of scamming them. Always be careful and always be very alert during any conversation. Think for yourself and, if necessary, ask for the opinion of someone older or with more knowledge than you, in whom you trust. .
Life has a lot to teach us and there are so many things to try and learn from. Don’t keep yourself entirely locked away from the world by not socializing, by not meeting other pagans. At first it can be hard to see so many points of views. Some you might even think “What is this?” but that will also teach you to respect others. There is so much you can learn by meeting and by talking to other pagans.
Find some events in your area or, if you are going on vacation to somewhere, search if there are any pagan gathering nearby and plan a visit. Or find an online forum and join up, meet some people and learn new things.
My simple conclusion: Socialize. Talk to people, enter social networks of Paganism, sign into forums and meet people. Learn with them and discover new worlds filled with knowledge. Who knows? You might even find a coven that will be your future family. You never know what plans the Gods have in store for us.
Live life to the fullest; know the world and live your religion.
I Walk My Own Path
Author: Melody BlueMoon
When I was younger, I never really felt a connection to my parents’ Christian God. I liked to hear the beautiful stories, but I just never felt like any of it was real for me.
As I grew up, I became almost irritated with my parents’ religion and started to act out spiritually. I watched The Craft, got obsessed with Charmed, and stole my sister’s copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone. I started visiting websites about Black Magic, though the most I ever did was look at pictures and I cast one spell to make it rain and another to lose a few pounds. Neither worked.
When I got into middle school, I started to pay closer attention to Charmed and noticed a reoccurring word throughout the series: Wiccan. And being the internet-savvy child of the 90’s that I was, I Googled it.
I was intrigued. This wasn’t the dark, almost evil magic that I had dabbled with online. This was a rather beautiful religion, talking about things like The Goddess and ‘Harm none.’ I started looking up everything I could about this and other Pagan Paths.
I never did any rituals, or cast any spells, but I did discover that my sister was into similar things. My sister told me that my brother dabbles with Tarot cards, my great-aunts work with crystals, and my aunt believes in reincarnation…and that my very devout Catholic grandmother didn’t care what you believed in, as long as you truly believed in it. She also mentioned that the women of our family may or may not have some psychic ability, however small it was.
While Wicca had seemed attractive to me, after a year or two of researching and learning about this particular Path, I realized it simply wasn’t for me. I simply classified myself as an Eclectic Pagan for a while. I never felt quite right with any of the various established Paths, so I eventually gave up on finding a specific one. I had nothing against being Eclectic; I just wished I had something more definite.
Then, I discovered my own Path.
It came about because of a writing assignment for a mythology class. We had to create a culture and that culture’s mythology, its Creation Story, at least two of its heroes, and the creation of Man. As a writer, I wanted to make it perfect. I created so many gods and goddesses, worked so hard on the myths that I ended up handing it in late.
But the main thing is that while I worked on all this, I felt much more spiritual than any other time in my life, more connected, more like something was right. And while I don’t worship the Gods and Goddesses of that particular pantheon, it did inspire me to create my own personal mythology, my own personal religion. And so I set forth on My Path.
I looked at other mythologies, other religions to see what I wanted My Path to be like.
I read up on the Greek and Roman myths I had loved as a child. I reread my Children’s Bible and the Bible my mother bought me when I became a teenaged girl. I read the stories of the Native Americans and asked my Native friends for more. I bought mythology books, New Age books; I even bought a few books about angels and fairies. My sister took me to a psychic and I got a reading done. (And discovered my Power Animals: an Armadillo and a canine that she was unable to identify.) I looked to Africa, to Japan, to India. I looked at the Norse Gods of my Viking ancestors on my father’s side. I looked to the Celtic ones on my mother’s. I looked to Islam, to Judaism, to Buddhism, to Taoism. You give me an -ism, I probably looked into it.
I liked the idea of the Triple Goddess, but felt that the Crone wasn’t quite what I wanted. Nothing against her, but she didn’t fit. Maybe later on, but not yet. I liked the idea of a Mother Goddess, but didn’t want Her to just be Mother Earth; I wanted Her to be Mother Sky as well. I wanted Her to be a Goddess of the Moon, the Stars. I wanted a Goddess of Lust, Desire, Love. And I wanted her to be a little Dark. Not evil, but not exactly good either. (My first image of her involves her holding a heart and a dagger to stab it with.) She actually appeared in the mythology assignment, and has changed little from that first appearance. She even has the same name. Fire was always hers. I wanted someone to preside over Karma and/or Reincarnation. I wanted this god or goddess to be almost perfectly neutral, and to also preside, in some way, over knowledge.
And so I came across M, L, and S on My Path. (And at one point there was a J, but he moved on to another part of My Path, and received a new name.)
I discovered that M was to be a dark-skinned female with white or silver hair, to denote her connection to the Moon and the Night Sky. I’ll admit, the way I imagine the Goddess looks a bit like Storm of the X-Men. I discovered that L liked to change her appearance, but primarily had very pale skin and yellow eyes, her hair either deep red or black. I discovered that I couldn’t quite get a fix on what S looked like, but he wore Greek and Roman togas and cloaks.
I’ve always believed in reincarnation, at least a little. I liked the thought of a place between lives, not quite an afterlife, but a place to go after your life is over, and before it begins again.
And so I found Home.
As I worked with the Three Gods, I also came across Eight Sacred Warriors, four male, four female. I also discovered that they were the first to find Home and to inhabit it.
I’ll admit, that the purpose of this essay was a bit selfish; I don’t want to be alone. I want others to know some of my beliefs. I hope that someday I’ll be able to share them with another, perhaps a significant other, or my children. But the main point was to inform others who, while they have found Pagan Paths that seemed very attractive to them they just weren’t for them, that they can make Their Own Path, just as I have made My Path.
If there isn’t any particular religious Path that works for you, you can work on your own. After all, nearly every religious Path in existence today started out similarly. I’m not delusional enough to think that My Path will someday become a major religion, or even one that anyone other than myself follows. But it is mine, and I shall always think of it fondly, even if on My Path, I find another that suits better.
The downside of walking my own Path is that while I have a set of beliefs personally tailored to fit me, there’s really no one out there to talk to about them, as I’m the first to have these specific beliefs. I’ll never be able to walk around a Pagan event and stumble across a booth about my Path. Well, not unless it’s my booth. I can’t look on the web for a group for my Path.
But I Walk My Own Path, and you too can walk your own, if you truly wish it.
If you are Eclectic, but wish for something more definite as I did, you can do as I did. Again, nothing against Eclectic Practitioner, as I still refer to myself as an Eclectic Solitary Practitioner. What else can you call yourself when you walk a Path no one else does?
I never realized the importance of rocks and crystals when I started on my path. Not really. I collected them for all sorts of reasons: they where pretty, or full of energy. Then as the years progressed, in my studies of the stones in the earth I realized each stone had everything from a number to energy to a point of view and sometimes even its own voice. Sounds crazy, the voice part, but when one studies the Druid arts one becomes passionate about listening.
My trial and error use of circle stones started many years ago. Call me an experimenter of sorts. I would simply place them on the altar, use the energy, and go about my business of casting the spell or ritual. Then I tried something within the past five years that got the stones to become part of the circle. I put one at each corner for each guardian, Like an offering, they were there for a specific energy. One night, I forgot my little rocks at their gates and I heard, yes I heard and felt, “you’re forgetting something; you’re forgetting us”. I didn’t think, went about the ritual, and nothing happened. A few more times, same thing: the guardians didn’t answer. Everything went wrong. So I put the stones back in the circle and instead started using colored ones for each gate. I didn’t realize the guardians had blessed those stones for protection. In fact it wasn’t until I got into a nasty bit with an old friend did I realize that my circle stones had hundreds of uses.
For example, in that nasty bit, a person one day psychically attacked me. I was in a whirlwind of mental pain and sick on my stomach. I grabbed up my stones and set them around my room and suddenly it was as though I had an energy circle about me. The guardians were right there to protect me, sending the energy back to where it came from. I have also learned carrying my smaller stones around in my pocket does the same thing. It’s a protective device, a gift from the other realms. There is a sense of calm relief that the gods are right here with me. Whenever I pick up a stone or gem, I can sense the guardian of that gate and the energy flowing through me for a specific need in a ritual.
It’s become a habit now. Whenever I do any ritual or spell work, I put up my circle stones. Although I did not ask for the blessing I realize it’s one of the greater gifts the guardians have given me.
To each gate I put a colored stone first — and glass works just as well sometimes better, because glass sometimes doesn’t have an attitude. (Yes, I’ve had rocks with attitude and they are angry stones that don’t want to be touched. They get hot in the hand, or I get a headache.) For East: citrine and amethyst work great (purple and yellow) . South: it’s carnelian and hematite (reds, golds, fire colors) . West: sodalite, clear quartz, or blue lace agate (blues and aqua) . For North: moss agate, aventurine (earthy colored stones) . Or to make it easy, clear quartz works for every gate. Colors help me remember where to place the stones but simply being sincere goes a long way with the guardians.
In another one of my experiments, I tried putting clear glass stones at the gate and then mixing them up next time I had circle until each guardian had touched it. They thus become part of the circle and the ritual and they will have hundreds of uses. The energy needed will always be there. To clean them, take the stones into the sun. All negativity will wash out and the good energy will stay behind.
Picking a stone, this became my first lesson, and I learned to be very picky with the stones because of the energy fields around me. Taking the stone in the left hand (if your right handed) or right (if your left handed) , pull the stone close to the chest and ask it silently (or out loud) if it wants to go home with you. If your body leans forward, then it’s a yes; if it leans backwards as though the body is pushed away, no. Stones are like fairies; they have simple answers for everything: yes and no. I have been in a stone shop and gone through them all wondering which stone is calling because they all seem to be saying no. It’s simple and fun.
For ritual uses, I learned that sometimes even my favorite stones could say no. The guardians seem to have more than an idea at what’s going on. Like I said, they are there, without my ever drawing down a circle or calling them. This works out great when going out into the wild or if a circle is being casted after dark and I can’t remember which way is east. For this, I use my clear stones and go on about my ritual work.
It’s taken me years to learn the right and wrong way of these small little stones. They want to be apart of the magic. They always have been there. I just didn’t realize when I started my circle work that they could go in more than one place. It really is a gift.
Love is in the Earth
The big book of Stones
Twenty one lessons of Merlin
Growing Up Wyrrd
Most of us have at one point or another heard a story from a fellow Pagan about growing up in a Christian family, being disillusioned with the religion they were assigned to and later converting. These stories are one of the more popular personal narratives of NeoPaganism, but we are entering an era when many of the elders of the modern Pagan movement are old or dead and not only have children, but grandchildren who have been raised with their particular flavour of Paganism. I suspect the narrative of NeoPaganism is about to change when these people who grew up Pagan start to tell their stories; however, there is yet another narrative not talked about or told as much as the “I grew up Christian” narrative, and that is the “I just came home” narrative. The latter is mine.
Being a convert can be tough, no doubt about it, and it can be particularly straining on relationships with nonPagan family members, and equally as straining on the convertee, especially when it comes to worldview. Pagans have a distinctly different worldview (a fundamental cognitive orientation that includes one’s views of society, philosophies, ethics, normative postulates, etc.) than that of Christians, who represent the majority narrative on worldview in the world. Many do not know how to deal with it, and many blanket Pagan terms over top of old Christian views they have internalised from being subjected to it for many years.
There are some of us however, who have never internalised the majority narrative, despite being subjected to it. Some time ago, I had the pleasure of reading Robin Artisson’s Reclaiming the Pagan Worldview, which, I think, while it has its flaws (i.e., the rejection of science-I believe this discounts all our ancestors’ work toward Academia) , is an indispensible tome of wisdom for the modern Pagan when it comes to thinking like a Pagan and being Pagan. I believe he is right when he speaks of “some people think that being Pagan is a matter of […] making a blanket rejection of their original beliefs” and not much else. I think many Heathens know it when we see it, and know the importance of seeing the world in a Heathen way, especially the hard polytheists. It is a distinct way of perceptualising the world around you and your experiences and merely placing Pagan terminology over top of internalised perceptualisations can severely stunt your understanding of and experience of Heathenism and Paganism.
Heathenism is not compatible with the Abrahamic worldview, the worldview many of us have been taught since birth, and still more have had it ground into us, forced internalisation from everything from the basics of belief in the supernatural to our modern understanding of secularism and societal philosophies. I agree with Artisson that we need to reclaim that Pagan worldview if we are going to be Pagans. Our ancestors created rich cultures of Pagan philosophy, schooling, democracy and secularism from a distinctly Heathen point of view. Our contemporaries have spent years studying, collaborating and providing us with historical and archaeological references, texts and reconstructions of these rich cultures. Their worldviews have also changed how we see the days of the week, and even how we see time. A Pagan worldview encompasses everything from religious rites to our perception of language and how time passes. To not work toward reclaiming it is to do ourselves, our ancestors and especially our descendents are grievous disservice. This is where my narrative comes in.
I did indeed grow up in a typical “Christian household” but the beliefs were never consistent. No one seemed to be able to decide what, if anything, he or she actually believed. They had more internalised the worldview of their Christian society and feared letting it go, and stepping out of the cage. On the other hand, I grew up spending time at my best friend’s house, whose mother was an Indigenous Wiccan. From my earliest memories I saw nature as sacred and in my dimmest, furthest reaches of childhood memory; I was an animist.
When my friend’s stepmother told me about Paganism, at the age of eight, I felt I had “come home”. Of all the attempts to scar me with Christian worldview, not a single one had succeeded to embed itself in my mind. My friend’s stepmother’s own syncretic views of religion had a much deeper impact and while I didn’t end up Wiccan (I often saw Christian baggage being dragged in. Christians in Pagans’ clothing, as it were, and I rejected it in favour of Reconstructionist paths) , today I still see the world in the same manner, and more so.
In my teenage years when I was just discovering who I was, I began to fear the constant press of Christianity both in the forefront and in my periphery and began to work hard everyday to affect my Wyrd and prevent me from ever internalising Christianity. While I no longer fear Christianity, at the time, my young mind felt it was a severely pressing issue. I sucked up the lore incessantly and constantly looked for patterns of Wyrd and Orlog in my everyday life. Indeed, discovering Theodism and Sinnsreachd and Celtic Recon even changed my views of what Heathenry was, and that not every Reconstructionist shares the same worldview, philosophies or ethics, despite the majority narrative within Heathenry being Ásatrú.
Discovering the concept of Wyrd opened my eyes to a way of seeing and understanding the world I had only the faintest, labelless, wordless glimmer of before. I discovered it in my grade 11 English class, reading a Michael Alexander translation of Beowulf. Beowulf became one of my most treasured tomes of lore for its attempt at interweaving an archaic Heathen worldview with a Christian one, and I felt what must have been the same conflict as did the Christian teller of the tale who added his own elements to what was otherwise a deeply Heathen epic. Christianity, in my natural and carefully cultivated Heathen worldview, was morbid, self-serving and deeply confused about its own ethics. They were too focused on death and on purposeful suffering, and indeed I saw all the Christians in my life suffering in ways I could not empathise with because I had never internalised the shame and the obsession with death that forced them into their continual fear and gloom. And this is often what I see in contemporary Heathens who espouse a distinctly Christian flavour coming from being a convert, or even the children of converts. I see it less so with the “came home” narrative, those of us who had a way of perceiving our world and only later found names for it.
I would advise studying the lore, the history and especially the philosophies of not just our ancestors but the ancestors and elders of all Heathen paths and I would advise deeply connecting it to our everyday life on a daily basis. Heathenry isn’t a Sunday sacrifice, or merely posting on Ásatrú Lore once a week, it’s a way of life, it is how you see the sun when it rises, how you drive to work on a Monday, how you effect your Wyrd with every choice you make. Heathenry is who a Heathen is. No one ever said it was easy, but it’s certainly necessary.
Sharples, R. W. “Stoics, Epicureans and Sceptics: An Introduction to Hellenistic Philosophy [Paperback].” Amazon.com: Stoics, Epicureans and Sceptics: An Introduction to Hellenistic Philosophy (9780415110358) : R.W. Sharples: Books. Web. 29 Feb. 2012. .
Artisson, Robin, “Reclaiming the Pagan Worldview.” Scribd. Web. 29 Feb. 2012. .
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