‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for October 18th

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

I don’t know what time it is, It may be very late,
But I have dreams to dream and thoughts to think that simply cannot wait.
I don’t know what the weather is, it may be sun or snow.
But in these books and at this time are things I need to know.
I’m not so sure that I’m alone, or if there’s someone there;
It would be nice to hear a voice, for there is much to share.
I don’t need to know your faults, they may not be for me.
No critic enters in this place, nor do my faults they see,
For only One Pure Being knows the time, or shows through your dear face,
Only the One Presence fills our hearts to share this quiet place

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
By White Bison, Inc., an American Indian-owned nonprofit organization. Order their many products from their web site: http://www.whitebison.org

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – October 18

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – October 18

“But we have to stick by the wisdom of our ancestors…”

–Paula Weasel Head, BLOOD

A long time ago the Elders and our ancestors learned to walk on the Earth and to live in harmony. They were taught the Laws which govern everything, and they were taught traditional values. This wisdom should be made available to the younger generations. We need to speak to the Elders and learn from them. We need to do this so we can pass the knowledge on to our children.

My Creator, help me learn the wisdom of my ancestors.

October 18 – Daily Feast

October 18 – Daily Feast

The plain and simple doorstep has tremendous value. At any time of day or night it offers the finest view, the tranquil quiet of the autumn woods and the flickering pattern of dancing leaves. Sit here for a few moments and leaves drift down, a monarch butterfly feeds on a pot of petunias and wispy clouds show through holes in the trees’ canopy. A few industrious ants are still at work around the doorstep and watching them slows the heart beat and paces the spirit. If it were not for this doorstep, much would slip by without notice. Peace would escape us, and time would be used in ways that took all and gave nothing.

~ I have learned a lot from the trees; sometimes about the weather, sometimes about animals, sometimes about the Great Spirit. ~

TATANGA MANI – STONEY

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

Daily Motivator for October 18th – Choose to feel

Choose to feel

When you don’t feel like smiling, that’s when a smile will absolutely do the  most good. When you don’t feel like laughter, that’s when a laugh can completely  change your whole outlook.

You do not have to live at the mercy of your feelings. You can choose to be  the master of those feelings and the master of your actions.

It doesn’t matter whether it is easy or hard, reasonable or unreasonable to  choose the way you act and feel. You can do it anyway.

Don’t use your feelings as an easy excuse to do the wrong thing. Use them as  a well-informed guide for doing what is good and right.

Pay attention to your feelings, learn from them, experience, enjoy and  appreciate them. But don’t let them enslave you.

Go ahead, feel life intensely. And make the choice to be in control and to  live with intelligent, positively focused purpose.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

Daily OM for October 18th – Quiet Please!

Quiet Please!

Taming Monkey Mind in Meditation

by Madisyn Taylor

We all have the endless chattering and noise in our head often referred to as the monkey mind.

It’s been called the monkey mind the endless chattering in your head as you jump in your mind from thought to thought while you daydream, analyze your relationships, or worry over the future. Eventually, you start to feel like your thoughts are spinning in circles and you’re left totally confused.

One way to tame this wild creature in your head is through meditation although the paradox is that when you clear your mind for meditation you actually invite the monkey in your mind to play. This is when you are given the opportunity to tame this mental beast by moving beyond thought to become aware of a thought rather than thinking a thought. The difference is subtle, but significant. When you are aware of your thoughts, you can let your thoughts rise and float away without letting them pull you in different directions. Being able to concentrate is one of the tools that allows you to slow down your thought process and focus on observing your thoughts.

To develop your concentration, you may want to start by focusing on the breath while you meditate. Whenever your monkey mind starts acting up, observe your thoughts and then return your focus to your breath. Some breathing meditations call on you to focus on the rise and fall of the breath through the abdomen, while others have you concentrate on the sound of the breath. Fire can also be mesmerizing, and focusing on a candle flame is another useful tool for harnessing the mind. Keep the gaze soft and unfocused while observing the color, shape, and movement of the flame, and try not to blink. Close your eyes when you feel the need and continue watching the flame in your head. Chanting, devotional singing, and mantras also still the mind. However you choose to tame the monkey mind, do so with firm kindness. The next time the chattering arises, notice it and then allow it to go away. With practice, your monkey mind will become quiet and so will you.

The Daily OM

The Origin of Magick

The Origin of Magick

Author:   Crick   

Have you ever wondered about the origins of magick?
By magick I am not referring to the stage tricks employed by various entertainers for our amusement, but rather the energy which numerous cultures and belief systems have tapped into in order to manifest their various objectives.

This universal gift is known by many different names depending on which culture/belief system one looks at. It may be known simply as magick, prayers, miracles, life force, juju, karma and so forth.
For the purpose of this article it will be referred to as energy.

Have you ever wondered if such energy was a latent presence here on earth prior to the arrival of humankind? Residing here as an ancient primordial force, which was patiently waiting for sentient beings to discover its presence and purpose.

And if it was here prior to the arrival of human beings, did it serve an active purpose in the shaping of life and/or the creation of events that allowed for said life to begin? Was this primordial energy an essence that was introduced by Deity by way of a direct involvement with what we know as life? Or was it a side effect that formed as a result of actions taken by Deity during the course of said activities?

Or perhaps it is a development that manifested itself with the advent of humans? Could it be that the life force that we know as spirit introduced this energy into the life process in order to provide us with opportunities to expand our spiritual awareness and/or connection with alternate realms?

And if this is the case, why do you suppose that such a tool for growth and/or communication is so under utilized?

I say this because in society today, folks tend to become less connected with the world around them and more absorbed with the part of the self that is influenced by the individual ego.

And if this is a tool for growth and communication, why is it that those folks who actually use this energy for this purpose are spurned and looked upon with suspicion and in many cases with outright disdain by others in society? Witchcraft in essence, embodies the concepts and principals in the use of such energy.

And yet the word “witch” brings out and runs the gauntlet of emotions and perceptions of humanity as a whole. And depending on which side of the fence one stands, a witch is either an evil and vile creature or a person who is in touch with and resonates with the universal energies of which magick is a major part of.

Where does this fear of the unknown come from?

Was the ego installed into our souls as a balance to such a powerful tool? Has the balance shifted too far to one side of our souls?

As humans we readily employ magick in our various endeavors, but do we really understand its origins and what exactly is that we are using as a tool? Could the ego be a safety mechanism that has been allowed for whatever reasons, to exceed its purpose?

In some cultures, magick known as prayers is used as a means of communication with Deity. Does magick have but one specific intended use? And if so, are all other uses of such energy but an abuse of its original intended use?

Within these same cultures, when an event that is normally beyond the capacity of mere mortals, occurs, it is called a miracle.

Are these so called miracles really but a form of the same energy that others would call magick? Can we as humans in fact manifest these miracles by employing this energy? Or should such manifestations be the sole province of deity?

And while we are on the subject, does this energy have a shelf life?

Does it become stronger with use, opening even more avenues of discovery and power as one venture along the path, or does it weaken from non-use and/or the cultural disbelief in such a power?

Or is it simply a neutral tool offered by the powers to be, with many different attachments waiting to be realized by humanity.

Regardless of what name we call this energy or by what concept we use to identify with it, this gift has surpassed all boundaries of cultural, religious and societal beliefs. It is found in all aspects and fiber of this existence that we call life. It is a dominant force, often in a passive way, in basically everything that we do as humans. As such we may most likely only achieve but a peripheral understanding of such a complicated and diverse force.

Perhaps one day when we become as one with deity, a more comprehensive understanding of such a gift will be made known to us. But until such a revelation is proffered by the powers that be, we should always strive to understand as much as we are able to in order to effectively use such energy in a way that is both constructive and meaningful to our personal lives and not only our personal lives but to those around us as well.

As members of a diverse community, we have a responsibility to contribute to the health and well being of our community. Because of the diversity of society, there will always be divergent views as to what this energy is or in how it is to be used. But at the end of the day, how we use such energy is still an individual decision.

There are certain pagans, in particular Wiccans, who believe that whatever energy is sent out will return to the originator threefold.
As a traditional witch, I personally am not so sure that such a transfer is so cut and dry, but in general such a concept is a good yardstick or learning curve to adhere to.

I personally do not consider myself a master for I do not believe in such a being outside of deity. Rather I am a student of life with lots of questions. For without such questions there are no answers.
And quite frankly I don’t have answers to many of the questions that I have asked here. What few answers I may have are based upon my personal life experiences.

As pagans we are each individual and thus should answer such questions as they pertain to each person in regards to ones own beliefs and practices…

The Magick Power of the Spoken Word

The Magick Power of the Spoken Word

Author:   Crick   

Since most folks who identify themselves as pagan these days came from other belief systems, I have to wonder about the awareness of some of the basic aspects of magick. One of these basic aspects is the power of the spoken word.

What, you may ask, in the spoken word carries power?

Well, think about it. When we do ritual we use the spoken word. When we do invocations and evocations we use the spoken word. When we cast magickal spells (energy work) we use the spoken word. And in fact, in some Circles folks enhance the spoken word by using what is known as the “God voice”. This is a technique where we draw a well of power from deep within our souls to forcefully convey the spoken word. This technique is similar to what a martial artist does when they draw their “chi” or “ki” forth.

For those who engage themselves in witchcraft, we use the spoken word to cast forth a curse or a blessing. I’m sure that other magickal paths probably do so as well, but I am writing from my own personal area of knowledge or comfort zone if you will.

And so obviously the spoken word contains a great deal of power within a magickal setting.

And the belief in the power of the spoken word is not confined to just the current New Age thinking, but is in fact an ancient and accepted tenet of magick.

One example in support of this belief, which can be found from times of old, is in the Lebor Gabala Erren (Book of Invasions).

As a rather brief background, during the first battle of the Magh Tuiredh, Nuada, the High King of the Tuatha De Danann lost his right arm in battle against the Fir Bolg warrior, Sreng mac Sengainn. The Tuatha De Danann had a code of honor in place that stated when a king became blemished he had to abdicate his position, for he was no longer considered fit to rule.

As a result, the half Tuatha De Danann, half Fomorian prince, Bres mac Elatha, was elevated to the position of High King. It was hoped that because of his mixed heritage that he would bring a lasting peace between the Danann and the Fomorians. However he turned out to be a very oppressive and spiteful king of the Tuatha De Danann.

After a short period of time, the Tuatha De Danann whom was suffering from the injustice of their High King turned to a trained Satirist named “Corbre“. The Druids of the time (and perhaps even to this day) had certain Druids who were trained in the magickal arts of the spoken word (satirists). By way of this magickal art they could inflict emotional, mental and even physical damage to their intended victims, regardless of their position in life.

As a result, Corbre was able to successfully inflict such damage on Bres, thus forcing him to abdicate his throne. While these events were taking place Nuada had his missing arm replaced with one made of silver by the Tuatha De Danann physician known as Dian Cecht. The son of Dian Cecht, “Miach” then transformed the silver arm back to flesh, thus allowing Nuada to regain his position as High King of Ireland.

And so as you can see from this proffered example, the spoken word does in fact have magickal powers. And if it can be used to bring down a High King of a noble race of Gods, how does this power affect the average person?

Many conversations these days almost always touch upon on how the world village is spiraling ever downwards. It is no secret that we are inundated by an ocean of negative energy which by all accounts is of our own making and is thus our problem to own.

I personally believe that much of this negative energy comes from the frequent and irresponsible use of the spoken word.

Think about it, how many times a day will you be the recipient of someone’s negative comments?

How many times in a day, a week, a month will you direct such negative energy at someone else?

And how often do folks stop and think, wow, perhaps I shouldn’t conjure up and direct such words of power without giving some thought as to the consequences of ones actions?

Judging from the ocean of negative energy that is choking the life out of society, I would presume that such careful considerations does not happen nearly enough.

The world village has descended to a level where instantaneous use of such a basic, yet powerful magickal tool is now the norm. For the most part, folks simply do not hesitate to vocalize a disparaging comment at someone else. Sending this negative energy out without any consideration of responsibility and/or awareness of what such energy, once manifested, might do to the recipient.

Now, as pagans, it is our responsibility to be aware of such a basic and yet powerful form of magick. It is our responsibility to use such power in a manner that is beneficial to both ourselves as individuals and to those around us.

We often pontificate about wanting to set a higher example by way of our spiritual pursuits and to make a difference in this worn out world of ours. Well, this is one basic way to do just that.

Just by being aware of the power of the spoken word and by applying such awareness and knowledge, we can stop just talking (sorry about the pun) about it and actually contribute some positive energy to a world village that is crying out for such a change.

By being keenly aware of what we say to others and how we say it, we are in effect taking some simple and yet effective steps towards setting a higher example for others to follow. By showing such responsibility, we are exhibiting an alternative to the self-centered, “it’s all about me” quagmire that our society has slipped into.

Of course as a simple Irish witch I realize that such an obvious and yet challenging change won’t happen overnight. But as a diehard optimist, I firmly believe that each journey begins with the first step. And who better to start such a journey then those who strive to understand and thus effectively use the magickal arts within their lives?

Isn’t this what individual responsibility is supposed to be all about?

The Mysteries and Esoteric Witchcraft

The Mysteries and Esoteric Witchcraft

Author: Rhys Chisnall

“The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. He to whom the emotion is a stranger: whom no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms- this knowledge, this feeling, is at the centre of true religion.” – Albert Einstein

One of the hardest aspects of the esoteric initiatory Witchcraft to write about, or even communicate, is its strong mystery aspect. Yet, in my opinion, it is one of the most important things that distinguish it from New Age and Popular Wicca/Witchcraft. By its very nature the mystical aspects of Witchcraft are a thoroughly subjective experience and as such any cursory and brief exploration such as this article or any other in print are going to be subjective and inadequate.

“Second hand mysticism has generally an unsatisfactory experience, since if these notions are not the driving force of our life, are not the pulse beat of our heart or are not personally integrated into our whole, then they are empty gestures. Then they are devoid of meaning similar to reading a literary criticism rather than reading the poem itself. The mystical experience is immediate not vicarious or deputed” (Armstrong 1999)

The mysteries need to be experienced, and they cannot be explained in everyday language, hence the need for the metaphors of myth and the communication of the experiences through the metaphors of symbols and ritual. The religious commentator, theologian and mystic Karen Armstrong said that.

“There is a linguistic connection between the three words, myth, mysticism and mystery. All derive from the Greek verb musterion: to close the eyes or the mouth”. (Armstrong 1999)

There are many roads to the mysteries and the mystical experience. As Prof Joseph Campbell (the late expert in comparative mythology) quotes from the Rig Veda, “Truth is one, but the sages speak of it by many names.” He also tells the story of an interfaith conference set up between Shinto and Catholicism. He was struck at how the priests of Catholicism and Shinto found it difficult to find a commonality or a common religious language to communicate with each other, but the monks and nuns of each religion could. This was because the priests were concerned with holding up their metaphors, their myths, symbols and rituals as ends in themselves, whereas the monks and nuns had moved beyond the metaphors to the experience of the sacred and the divine itself. They were not stuck with believing that the metaphors were the reality and the end goal. They had gone past the virgin birth, the resurrection, and even God, to find a community in the mysteries and mystical experience that were shared by their Shinto counterparts. As Campbell said, “Religion is misinterpreted myth”

The Armenian-Greek esoteric philosopher and practitioner G. I. Gurdjieff suggested that there were four paths to the mysteries. The first three, the way of the fakir, the way of the yogi (nothing to do with picnic baskets) and the way of the monk are mostly eastern ways to experience the mysteries and represent the three disciplines of the mind, the body and contemplation. These three paths are typical of the Eastern Mystery tradition in that they all involve a withdrawal from society and the world.

The fourth way is ‘the way of the hearth’. It is the way of the Western Mystery Tradition of which esoteric initiatory Witchcraft along with Hermeticism, Qabbalah, mystical Christianity and Sufism are parts. It is the way of being fully integrated with the world, identifying with the universe and with life and not attempting to escape from it (with the notable exception of Gnosticism) . It is seeing no separation between humanity, nature and the divine.
To my mind esoteric initiatory Witchcraft liturgy and ritual are full of mystical language, myth and metaphor. For example within Gardnerian and Alexandrian Witchcraft there are phrases such as, “there is no part of us that is not of the god.” And of course the classic mysteries phrase of the Charge of the Goddess, “If that which thou seeketh, thou findest not within thee, you will never find it without thee.” These and other parts of Witchcraft ritual (not to mention many of the techniques used in ritual to help induce these kinds of states of mind) , strongly suggest the mysteries and mystical experience. The myths of esoteric initiatory Witchcraft point to the internal experience of the mysteries within the individual Witch, relating them to the cosmos, designed to take us beyond mere religion to the direct experience of numinous, divinity and the sacred. The systems, techniques and processes of esoteric Craft, to my mind, seem designed to take us beyond ourselves, and the sum of the parts of the tradition itself, into personal transformation and a new awareness.

So what are mysticism and the mysteries? According to the psychologist Lawrence Le Shan, “Mysticism from a historical and psychological viewpoint, is the search for and experience of the relationship of the individual himself (herself) and the totality that makes up the universe.” (LeShan 1974)

Karen Armstrong agrees when she writes, “Mystics have long claimed that he [God] is a subjective experience, mysteriously experienced in the ‘Ground of Being’…………..they claim that he did not really exist and it is better to call him No-thing”. (Armstrong 1999)

As such the mysteries go way beyond the dogmas, metaphors and systems that have been inspired by them. The techniques and participating within the metaphors of myth, relating it to the self and personal transformation give the practitioner a direct and vivid experience of a unity with a ‘different order of reality’, or perhaps, an expanded order of reality of which they are a part- unified with. They experience eternity within a second, being and non-being, beauty and horror but with no contradiction, no duality, no difference between sacred and profane. In essence the experience is indescribable expect through the language of metaphor, which sadly is mistaken for reality and an end in itself. The effect of these experiences is an inner alchemy, personal transformation- life and indeed you are never the same again.

Campbell hints at this when he says, “But the ultimate mystical goal is to be united with one’s god. With that the duality is transcended and forms disappear. There is nobody there, no god, no you. Your mind, going past all concepts, has dissolved in identification with the ground of your being”. (Campbell 1988)

Now sadly for the bit that people don’t like. The path to the mysteries is not an easy one. Rather it is one that requires hard work, commitment and dedication; it is not for people looking for instant results or an escape from reality. The starting point on the road to the mysteries and esoteric Witchcraft has got to be that of a coping adult, as Joanne Pearson reports in her essay Assumed Affinities (the difference between Initiatory Wicca- specifically Gardnerian and Alexandrian- and New Age spiritualities) .

“In the questionnaire, mentioned at the start of this chapter, none of the hundred (Gardnerian/Alexandrian) Wiccans who responded indicated that they had become involved in Wicca because ‘their life was not working’, and supplementary fieldwork does not indicate that these Wiccans assume there lives or the lives of other Wiccans are, or were Dysfunctional.” (Pearson 1998)

The Witch Dr. Dave Bracey confirms the difficulties and hard work of pursuing the mysteries when he says, “The mysteries are not easy to apprehend. It requires long training, usually with a spiritual guide or facilitator, and a considerable investment of time. This is not something that has much appeal to many in our present day society, conditioned as it is with fast cars, fast food, fast solutions and instant gratification and speedy communication. The mysteries do not arrive ready made and pre-packaged. They cannot be experienced as quickly as the instant high of the new age. But neither does the (esoteric initiatory) Witch’s ‘awareness’ wane, as does the let-down that so often eventuates when the newness of the ‘reborn’ convert fades to be left with the forms and structures of religion which so often become ends in themselves.” (Bracey 2001)

Like much else in life things that are of value are often thing that require a lot of hard work. Saying that though, there are circumstances where mystical experience arises quite spontaneously in some people. This may be down to horrific or beautiful situations, which invoke tremendously strong emotions within individuals that lead them to having an experience of the mysteries.

I am sure that there are many, many people who are perfectly happy practising their religion of non-initiatory exoteric Wicca and Witchcraft and good luck to them, each to their own. I am sure that people get a great deal of spiritual fulfillment from them. So just to reiterate so there is no confusion, esoteric initiatory Witchcraft is not better than New Age and Popular Wicca. It is just different, with different aims, philosophies and purposes and practices. So if the mysteries are not for you, then please feel free to ignore this article, remember that this is only one way and there are many others.

I shall finish with another quote from Dr. Bracey as he talks about the relationship between the mysteries and Craft. “So the mysteries are not for all, but is the way of (esoteric initiatory) Witches. We who ride beyond the ordinary, rejecting the supernatural in favour of the supra-natural, and who are aware of the relationship of the part to the whole.” (Bracey 2001)

 

Footnotes:
Campbell, J, (1988) , ‘The Power of Myth’, Doubleday
Campbell, J, (1959) , ‘The Mask of God (Primitive mythology, Oriental Mythology, Occidental Mythology and Creative Mythology) ’, Condor
Campbell, J, (1949) , ‘The Hero with a Thousand faces’, Princetown University Press
Campbell, J, (2001) , ‘Thou art that, transforming religious metaphors’, Joseph Cambell Foundation
Campbell, J, (2004) , ‘Pathways to Bliss, Mythology and Personal Transformation’, Joseph Campbell Foundation
Crowley, V, (1989) , ’ Wicca the old Religion in the New Age’, Aquarian Press
Armstrong, K, (1999) , ’ A History of God’, Vintage
Armstrong, K, (2005) , ‘A Short History of Myth’, Cannongate
Pearosn, J, Roberts, R, Samuel, G, (1998) , ‘Nature Religion Today’, Edinburgh University Press
Pearson, J, (2007) , ‘Wicca and the Christian Heritage (Ritual, Sex and magic) , Routledge
Fortune, D, (1935) , ‘The Mystical Qabalah’, Aquarian
Hutton, R, (2003) , ‘Witches, Druids, and King Arthur, Oxford University Press
Heselton, P, (1995) , ‘Secret Places of the Goddess’, Capal Ban
Underhill, E, (1993) , ‘Mysticism’, Oneworld
Lamond, F, (1997) , ‘Religion without Beliefs’, Janus
Lamond, F, (2004) , ‘Fifty Years of Wicca’, Green magic
LeShan, L, (1974) , ‘How to Meditate’, Turnstone
Bracey, D, (2001) , ‘A Personal View of God’, TNW

 

 

The Journey of a Wild Witch

The Journey of a Wild Witch

Author:   Eilan   

It has been eight years since I first discovered Witchcraft in a spiritual context. Prior to this Magick was very much alive in my life as I was lucky enough to have been born into a family that understands the spiritual dimension of life. My family also had the insight and experience to see and live this dimension in their everyday. In truth there is no difference between what is conceived to be ‘spiritual’ and that which is apparent and ‘mundane’. It is all one. This is my truth and my wild way.

I am an initiated Witch and Priest of the WildWood Tradition of Witchcraft. This means a great deal to me, as I am also a ‘co-founder’ of the original Mother Coven, based in Brisbane and initiated at Samhain (April 30th) 2006. Our ‘tradition’ and way of living the Craft is deeply interwoven with what many people call ‘shamanism’; derived from the Siberian Tungus word for their medicine people – saman. Mircea Eliade, the late Romanian historian, described shamanism as a “technique of ecstasy” and my coven has come to define Witchcraft as an “ecstasy-driven, Earth-based, mystery tradition”.

Our (and all Witches’) rituals and methods of practice allow us to transcend the illusion of separation and therefore to dissolve the ego and actualize the freedom that lives in the heart of all things. I often call and relate to this ‘All’ as the Great Mystery. The beauty of being a Wild Witch is that nothing is absolute and I have come to realize that all of Life is a holy continuum, which constantly seeks to express itself through diversity. Through expression comes manifestation, which allows us to experience Beauty through Perfection (the world in which we live) and then once more we come to the Wholeness of Unity and the cycle repeats itself.

We are born into a plural world of many and pass into the One only to yearn to divide ourselves once more to grow, deepen and enrich our understandings and experiences of that subtle/overt thing – the Great Mystery.

My coven’s tradition has developed and evolved around this wild-trance-dance-of-wonder. The only consistency between our covens is that we honor and acknowledge our heartland the WildWood, keep holy our covenant with the Sacred Four (the Weaver, the Green Man, the Crescent-Crowned Goddess and the Stag-Horned God) and that we remain open and receptive to personal/group gnosis and to Awen (the divine flow of inspiration) . Other than this there are some structural similarities regarding dedication and priesthood and inner and outer courts.

Essentially however we are wild Witches who fly in the face of authority and seek the wilderness underlying the apparent ‘civilization’ of things. Nothing can be tamed, for the wild is free and the free is divine! As we say in the WildWood – “we have actualized our radness!”

What do Wild Witches do? First and foremost – we live! We breathe, we sleep, we eat, we drink, we sing, we dance, we make love, we scream and we spend time sharing presence and being with our loved ones. ‘Being’ is an important principle to consider. To be is quite simple but so many people find themselves distracted by the “this and that” that they leave ‘being’ behind and pursue illusion instead.

This isn’t the same concept found in various Christian philosophies which espouses a “Satan’s fault!” message when sheep stray from the flock so to speak. Witches understand self-responsibility and are aware of action, reaction and consequence (the Threefold Law) . Why not exist in euphoric awareness of self as Self – the animate Cosmos? You are not only a cell within a larger body of universal wholeness; you are whole and thus a perfect embodiment, expression and reflection of the Great Mystery whose cause, undercurrent and outcome is Life.

When we free ourselves from the illusion of past, present and future and surrender to the Flow of the Continuum (the spirals, the wayward ins and outs, the labyrinthine, serpentine undulations of fate becoming) we make real for ourselves the state of being known commonly as “here and now”. This seems to constitute location and time, however it simply addresses the emphasis of indwelling consciousness regardless of where you are and what frame of time constrains it.

There are moments in my life, which I refer to as ‘Nostalgic Rites’. They are pure, simple, soothing, knowing moments that are like the punctuation points in a flow of sentences. They are the markers and the thresholds that appear along our paths when it is time to pause, reflect and feel. I have them often enough in my life to understand their imminent message of timelessness, peace and overwhelming Love! For what I have learnt above all else thus far is that dwelling within the chaos in the cosmos is the peace which neither subsumes or overrides it, but embraces it and lets it be. Chaos is what happens naturally when the undifferentiated potential becomes “this and that” and peace is the understanding that this is the way of Life. All of this is wild; we dwell in a far-reaching, limitless wilderness.

In a recent priestess training session with two beautiful women from my coven I asked both of them to divulge their feelings and reflections of the journey toward their priestesshood, as they are nearing to the ‘end’ of the beginning – Initiation. One of the women honestly came out and said to us that she feared for us (the other priestess-in-training and I) because we are on the top of the mountain, but because we are risk-takers it is inevitable that we will fall.

I had to stop and wonder in that moment why anyone would not want to fall. In fact I also wondered whether it had occurred to her that surrounding the mountain were vast forests, plains, rivers, deserts, tundra, bushland, seas, oceans and lakes; not to mention all of the beings who inhabit these places.

For me the mountain is not the point. It is part of the whole Great Mystery, but the journey does not lead to a single place; in fact the journey doesn’t really lead anywhere. There is no aim to my wandering, to my blissful dance through the wilderness – I simply embrace every experience because it is worthy of it and I laugh, smile, cry, choke, rage, relax, love, ***, change, grow, and a million other things that I couldn’t possibly articulate or fathom for the purposes of this article.

The other woman, who knows me very well, and is one of my closest friends, then turned to me smiling and said, “You are so glib!” She then went on to explain that it was the “natural, offhand ease and articulate fluency and flow” of how I expressed my truth that made me glib in her opinion.

It wasn’t a criticism on her part, merely an observation. I think it is actually quite accurate. I have such ease and flow in my expression because I don’t have to think too hard about who I am or how I feel because I am and I feel in the “here and the now”. I live and I am, and in my experience Life itself is glib.

To my fellow journeyers of the wild way who know in their hearts that they are heading nowhere, anywhere and everywhere – may you dance the Wander with all you are. My deepest well of love to you all!

The Wanderer

The sages say that samsara is to wander, to pass through,
I say samsara is to know the way and dance it.
To dance is to live, and to live is never “to pass through”;
Dance doll – dance and light up the stage…

Then they came with their wrought-iron weapons
And they pierced my soul, and looked for the mark.
I sang to them to soothe their battered spirits.
They sunk their swords in harder, my heart is in shreds.

The blood ran dry and the old seas heaved
And there in the darkest hour all was forgotten,
And tattered clothes were left in tatters,
And the ashes were left in mounds at the pyres.

Is it a fact that when we are lost we wander?
Is it true that when we are in love we dance?
Or do we dance when we are lost?
And do we wander when in love?

Samsara, O holy wheel of Life,
Keep turning, I want to stay.
I don’t want nirvana in clouds far away
For I feel it already…here.

The Wanderer – the Fool?
I don’t mind, I don’t mind being;
For all the pain and suffering and the attachment to desire
There is a keenness that is not worth losing.

I want to live,
I want to wander if that’s what it takes,
But through all this I will dance
And I will dance because I love.

– Gede Parma, 2007

The Witch I Am

The Witch I Am

Author:   Eilan  

Witchcraft, the Arte, the Craft, Magick, the Old Religion – what could these names possibly mean to an 18-year-old male living in an age of global warming, rapid deforestation, tyrannical war and occupation, fundamentalist literature and humanist rationalism? They are the faces of a largely spiritual movement, grounded in the sacred powers of Nature, from which the Old Gods themselves draw their strength and mystery.

My name is Gede Parma. I am an 18-year-old male Witch currently residing in Queensland, Australia. I am an initiate and co-founder of the dynamic Pagan wellspring that is the Coven of the WildWood, and I am priest and vessel to my Gods of Blood and of Breath.

My Pagan peers know me as Dobhair (pronounced ‘door’ with a soft accent in the middle), which is the name my ancestors revealed to me during last year’s solar eclipse as I dedicated myself to the Dagda and Morgaine le Fay. In this time of the Greening much will be seen to come to pass and the world will change in a way that none of us could ever have conceived.

I stand as the Rod of Power, as the Menhir, the Tree of Life, to whom my veneration is given in circles with my coven. As I focus inward so does my breath circulate into the outer realms, my consciousness expanding and taking into itself the divinity that is immanent within all of Life. I remember the animating force behind all that is and dance the spiral path of change and transformation into the very heart of the primal womb whose centre is the point of origin.

From the beginning I was Air, from whose new dawn’s breath ‘I’dea was formed. I was then fuelled by the heat of Fire, and light and warmth gave way to the oceanic-matrix that is the Water and blood-ways became rivers and streams in the body of the Goddess.

By Spirit and the Great Mystery I was given form and beauty and Earth’s presence and foundation continued the cycle, and when my thread is cut by the tides of Fate I will fall to the winds once more to decay with the autumn foliage under the slanted glare of a fading king whose sun sets in the realms of Death.

I am resurrected and born again by Love and by Light, and the Two Pillars join the heavens to the broad earth, from whom once more I will spring up as Kore, the sprout. From Death comes Life, and in Life there is Love, and the Mystery knows them all.

These are the mysteries that have been written of and told to others whose minds and hearts are listening, however their far-reaching and infinite truths are not simply grasped by an eloquent intellect or by the ascetics of a world-rejecting discipline.

Witchcraft to a teen in the 21st century has not lost its Great Mystery. We are still as the priests and priestesses of old who stole away to secret orders nestled in ‘tween places. We are still as the seers and shamans whose journeys remain intrinsically-patterned into our wild and unkempt spirits. We are Witches and by solitude or tribe we still raise the Power to celebrate the ecstasies of Life. I have never forgotten this charge and I have made it my oath to the Old Ones to continue to impart this knowledge and wisdom on those who have ears to listen.

There is immense power in the old mythos. They speak of Gods and Goddesses who inspire and protect their own, of ancient magicks whose powers awaken in the hearts of those who embrace the old ways. There is descent into the netherworld, and resurrection in the light of day. There are ancestors who kindle the hearth-fires and who gather us in to be warmed when way-ward our feet have taken us.

There are oceans and seas that speak of death and devotion. There are groves and mounds and stone-circles who whisper of ancient rites and who glisten and vibrate with the dragon-lines that sing through the land. There are wheels that spin and turn, and bring awareness to the cycles of Nature, to the implicit realities and cause us to revel in the wonder that is the blue sky and the green tree.

These things, these memories are not cast out or forgotten by the Witches of today, they are embraced and renewed by those of us who seek to rejoin and reconnect with the Wyrd, whose keepers, though at times stern, remind us to dance and to make Magick in their honor.

When the Pagan community regards its youths and also their influx into the tribes, they often forget that once upon time that was them. There are many who revile and resent the young folk who seek out the ancient wisdom and who practice the rites of the Craft. They seem to think that in doing so we desecrate their sacred power, or playfully twist and manipulate to achieve our own selfish and incorrigible ends.

Anyone who truly kneels at the Altar or draws the Circle of Power knows to what effect their pure Will can achieve. Those who are simply involved for the ‘glamour’ and the ‘prestige’ soon draw back when they discover what perfect love and perfect trust truly means.

So those of us who still remain after the year and a day and whose understanding has strengthened and whose energy has intensified should be known to all others who walk the spiral-ways as honest and humble devotees.

I will never forget the moment when I became a respected member of my community and was taken by my word for my word. It was as if all my potential became actualized and I could evolve and transform into a new identity, into a new persona. But personas are masks and identities fade, and through this time I began to feel again the pulse in the deepest part of me.

The façade had broken.

I didn’t need their recognition, their support, though it helped immensely in times of grief. What I needed was my connection, to awaken the divinity that is indwelling. It didn’t take long before one Goddess chose to love me and to pour into me what was already at my core. She is beauty; she is truth. She is power and she is that quintessential feeling that resonates through all my fragments, and whose veil covers not to hide, but to symbolize the other reality, that is always waiting, on the other side.

My life is enriched through my Craft. I am joined with all of Nature. I breathe on the mountain and I lose all ego-attachment, and it strikes me that all I am doing is breathing and existing, just as all other beings that dance through the cycles are.

My Gods speak to me through my descent and through my spirit. Their names are not written as a list of spiritual acquisitions, but as powers and forces that have revealed themselves to me, and have chosen to become my allies.

To be a Witch is not to forsake the divine bounty that is made apparent when we learn to trust, but to identify and understand the patterns of power that weave through the fibres of Life and manifest as expressions of innate and intimate truths. We celebrate this continuum of divine-play and revel in becoming a part of it.

I am a Witch, not because I was genetically made to be so (though that adds to it), and not because of some deep-set desire to conquer the plain drudgery and live out a fantasy of power and privilege.

I am a Witch because in my heart lives Magick and to deny its passage, its flow, would be to deny the very essence of my purpose here on Earth, and of my many lives before my present that have been sacrificed to continue the charge I was given.

As I dance the Wheel and as I draw the Circle I remember that I am different. It is not merely a contrast I draw between my nature and those of others, or an indulgent delusion I use to place myself higher than the rest. I am different in that the unfeeling, ego-ridden, politically-driven paradigm that our societies are built on rejects or else wholly negates who I am and what I do.

There is no room in this world, they say, for enchantment and Magick. There is no place for story-telling or dancing. Everything I am and everything I stand for is declared non-existent or irrational at best and Witchcraft is made out to be nothing more than a childish game.

Witches were once respected and revered for their skill, insight and power. In a sense this manifests today as the curious intrigue one feels toward the ‘supernatural’. Witches today are feared, maligned or ridiculed.

We are feared by the ignorant, maligned by the ‘pious’, and ridiculed by the so-called rationalists. However there are those among the liberally-minded communities who celebrate us as true visionaries in our right and who are inclined to study our spirituality in a bid to reclaim the lost wisdom.

There are few words that I can conjure that truly define my being. One of these is ‘Witch’. I embrace it wholly, in every way, for in doing so I reclaim the power that was once considered a gift. It is never a curse to realize truth and never a burden to uphold and live by it.

My Magick is a gift that I will pass on to the next generation of Witches, however at this point in time I work to encourage and inspire this generation. In my coven we circle every week and in between the esbats and sabbats we devote our circles to specific topics so that we may expand our knowledge and add to our magickal arsenal.

In the past we have discussed sacred tools, the Elementals, visualization, meditation and divination. Generally I take on the guise of the teacher as it suits me and I have a considerable amount of knowledge and practical experience in these areas.

The Witches of my coven are strong and steadfast spiritual beings, however we are all still human and prone to making mistakes. This is the reality of the Witch, especially as teenagers. We may be able to cast spells, transcend our egos, invoke ancient Gods and project our astral selves, but this does not exempt us from the everyday trials that bombard humanity.

As Witches, however, we make use of our knowledge of the subtle energies within and without and choose to take charge of our destinies accordingly. Perhaps it is this aspect of the Craft, more so than anything else, that truly frightens those who are not privy to the inner mysteries.

I am a Witch, pure and simple. You could tie to me to a stake, throw driftwood at my feet, drench me in gas and light a fire and I would not deny it.

I am a child of Nature, a Pagan and a priest. I dance the spiral-way and as I descend into the holy labyrinth I sing the old songs and chants to the Gods of leaf and bud, hoof and horn. I release tire and stress, exertion and envy to the four winds and I become the glowing scepter, the sword, and the spear. The serpentine force is aroused and it journeys upward along the spine to the crown that is the triangle of manifestation.

There I meet the Great Mystery and kneel to her charge as I feel the edge of her sword cut cleanly along my soul to my beating heart aflame with Magick.

Go in the way of the sacred, Blessed Be~