‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for April 8th

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

There are two words in every day life that mean more toward perfecting that life than any other thing. Those two words are the basis for every action. They are “personal responsibility”.

Daniel Webster once wrote that the most important thought he ever had was that of his individual responsibility to God. It was his personal responsibility.

No matter how understanding other may be, how kind, and tolerant, there comes a time when we cannot ask, nor expect to receive, help in our struggle. There are simply times when other people cannot cover for our poor performance. It soon becomes time for us to stand on our own feet, express our own feelings, and search out our own beliefs.

Others can run interference for us, make excuses for us, and guess at our feelings. But we don’t begin to live until we’ve accepted our personal responsibilities. We must learn to express truth in everything from showing our love to voting in an election.

Life is one personal responsibility after another. Shifting it to another’s shoulders loses some of the most important steps. Failure to recognize it is folly; ignoring it is stupidity; and accepting it is to find more truth and more strength than was ever imagined or expected.

___________________________________

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 – April 8

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – April 8

“The very dust upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to [my people’s] footsteps than to yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch.”

–Chief Sealth, DUWAMISH

If you respect something, it will respect you back. If your ancestors respected something, the future generations will be respected back. The Indian ancestors always showed great respect for the Earth. That’s why the Earth is so respectful to Indians today. Every Indian naturally feels connectedness to the Earth. We know the Earth holds our ancestors. If we continue to respect Mother Earth, our children will benefit and so will our grandchildren. Today, we should think about and pray for our Mother Earth.

Grandmother, let me have strong feelings for our Earth today.

April 8 – Daily Feast

April 8 – Daily Feast

Peace of mind is better than gold and just as precious. But unlike gold, peace comes when we ask for it and let it happen – not when we go in search of it. We look for a time to be peaceful. But what may seem to be a waste of time can be just what we need – a spot of sunlight, soft breezes, the sound of locusts humming in the night. The little things calm us and bring us rest. But the best comes when we release our hold on little cares, the voices that tell us how bad things are in the world – and just let peace seep in. Nothing so becomes us as stillness and quiet serenity. Nothing so aptly furnishes the background music like sounds of nature, the mockingbird’s midnight song that expands our boundaries and enchants our hearts.

~ We are a part of the earth, and the earth is part of us. ~

SEATTLE

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

The Daily Motivator for April 8th – Act in this moment

Act in this moment

Let yourself see the potential value in this moment. Open yourself to the opportunities in this day.

You are immersed in a sea of abundance, and it is up to you to make meaningful value out of it. You have the power to make a positive difference, so allow yourself to do so.

Take a moment to consider all the good and powerful possibilities that are within your reach right now. Remind yourself of what a shame it would be to let those possibilities go unfulfilled.

This is a day that’s like no other, and a day that will never be here again. It’s a day that can add enormous value to your life and your world, but only if you make use of it while it’s here.

Breathe in deeply, and fill your awareness with a fresh, invigorating sense of possibility. Feel your useful, beneficial power, and make the choice to immediately engage that power.

Act in this moment, on this day, with love, purpose and passion. And capture the unique value that this day offers for all of life.

— Ralph Marston
Source:
The Daily Motivator

The Daily OM for April 8th – The Ultimate Authority

The Ultimate Authority
Using Our Own Minds

by Madisyn Taylor

Input from experts is valuable but our own sense of the truth is ultimately the most important.

To a certain degree, we rely on other people’s accounts of reality to inform us of the nature of the universe. For example, we can’t all be molecular physicists, but we can benefit from taking their findings to heart. In the same way, we often look to teachers, various leaders, and gurus to tell us about the path to enlightenment and the nature of the realm of spirit. While this input from experts is undeniably valuable, our own sense of the truth is ultimately the most important piece in processing the information we take in from external sources. In the end, we are the authorities in our own lives, and we have the final say on whether something generally held as true is true for us.

We need only take a brief look at history to remember that the religious, scientific, and political establishments that ruled the day were all wrong about something at some point in time. This is the beauty of learning, experiencing, and evolving. While we sometimes wish we could just let someone else decide for us what is real and true, this is clearly not a viable option. The good news in all this is that we can confidently devote ourselves to making up our own minds about reality, taking everything that is handed to us as truth with a grain of salt.

This does not mean that we discount the information we receive from outside sources. It simply means that we are vigilant enough to question it before we decide whether or not we agree with it. All the information we receive is useful in the process of helping us make up our own minds. As we allow ourselves to sit with the things we learn, measuring them alongside our own inner sense of the truth and our own experiences, we find that making up our minds is a joyful process of integration that grows us into stronger, smarter, more engaged human beings.

 

Source:
The Daily OM

The Happy Side of Magick

The Happy Side of Magick

Author: Poppaea Holmes 

I have never really used many spells or chants, and when I have it is often at a time when I feel I can do nothing else… one of those ‘may as well try it’ approaches. I understand the mechanics of spell casting, how it works and how the desired effect is achieved, the problem I find with it though is that I was brought up with fairy tales and stories about Witches who cast elaborate spells with confounding results, and I find because of this upbringing that spell casting is intrinsically linked, in my mind, to fanatical stories and make believe lands.

I say this only to give you, as a reader, some sense of understanding how much effort had already been applied before I decided to cast a love spell. It was not a compulsion spell, merely creating a cosmic attraction field. I do understand that there are differing views on the appropriate use of love spells, of any kind, ranging from never-to-be-used to ‘use all the time, everyday!’ However I am not writing to discuss the pros and cons of casting a love spell, nor even, to some extent, the morals that must be thought through before one is cast, I am simply writing to explain and inform how mine worked, and how I would recommend it to anyone in the same situation, or any situation.

As previously stated, I was in pretty dire straits when I preformed this spell, (I know some would not consider that an appropriate term for being out of love, which some deem as a trivial matter. I believe it is a very apt description.) and as such, was not expecting any results. At the time, I had become rather disenchanted with Wicca. I cannot pinpoint exactly why as no major life events had occurred to make me believe that the Goddess was absent. It was more just a lack of connection, which is probably part of the reason I believed the spell would fail.

It was one of those long term/ three months spells, which meant that I wasn’t too fussed when nothing appeared after a few weeks. So I promptly forgot about the spell due to an influx in collage coursework and activities, and was asked on a date. To me this had never happened, and so I was, understandably I believe, rather surprised. He asked me over text, which I later found out his friend had actually composed, and we met up six days later.

I have to admit I had no idea who he was. Even after finding him on Facebook, I had difficulty in pinning him as the guy who was in my quiz team, Never the less, we started talking, and despite his apparent obsession with football and The Killers (who are a fine band, just not my style) , I agreed to a second date, and a third, and so on.

Now it was around the fifth date that I remembered about the spell I had cast, mainly by finding it whilst looking through my Wicca box. I didn’t connect the spell with my newfound boyfriend as I was having what I believe to be a bit of a slow day. I had become captivated with Wicca once again mere weeks after casting the aforementioned love spell. I proceeded to look through the ‘requirements’ for the person I wished to meet and found, to my surprise, that my recently obtained boyfriend met every criteria… and not in a vague ‘well I suppose’ sense, more in a height/weight/age/exact personality sense! I was literally speechless. I think I should mention now that the spell cast was for a soul-mate (I know, I just jump right in to it!) not just general love. I can say now, with our year anniversary just gone, that it has definitely worked.

I know some of you may be sitting there scoffing at my perhaps pitiful year long relationship, but to me, it is a success… especially considering that for the last three months he has been away at Canterbury, which is a good five hour train journey from where I live, making the relationship harder.

I didn’t really put off telling my boyfriend about my religion, more it just never actively came up. He informed me from the start that he was ‘devout’ atheist, and indeed some of our more interesting conversations have been on the concepts of souls and deities. However, I believe him knowing my religion made our relationship better. But I would not recommend the way in which he found out.

I am afraid I am going to diverge slightly, and I apologize if any view it as an unwanted interruption. I feel that what occurred was a breach of trust, and really just a show of a lack of morality in some people. My boyfriend found out about my religion through one of his friends, who happened to be a sergeant at the cadets I attended and a devout Christian. “At cadets”, for those of you who may be unfamiliar with the dress code, we were allowed to wear necklaces as long as they were hidden and for religious purposes.

I wore a plain silver pentagram at the time, and the chain occasionally showed, causing questions at least once a week. Usually I could just say it is a religious necklace (as trying to explain it to people who aren’t listening and are just desperate to be told you summon the devil is tedious) . However this time he walked a little way, turned as though an afterthought and asked “Yeah, what religion?” I answered, “I’m Wiccan” and we carried on our separate ways.

I thought nothing of this until I got a call from my boyfriend asking if I was a Witch. I was a bit bemused by how he had come to that conclusion, as, like spell casting, the word brings to mind Grimm’s fairy tale type characters and so I do not use the word. I answered that no, I wasn’t a Witch but I was Wiccan… and how did he come to hear of this information? It transpired that at the first possible chance this Christian friend, who I still believe had gained this information in an environment that did not warrant outside gossiping, had run to him at the first chance and said “Do you know your girlfriend is Wiccan?” We both believe it was to try and drive a wedge between us for reasons only known to him. Anyhow, this rant is almost over, and I shall end it and resume back to my original purpose by saying that I believe it was extremely ill-mannered and uncouth to divulge this information. I have always been raised to not speak of other religions or beliefs unless with express permission or belief that the knowledge would be useful in some way and that the person to whom is being referred does not mind.

I suppose what I am trying to get across with this article, is that magick does work. If you believe in something and you are prepared to go that little extra, it will change your life in wondrous awe-inspiring ways. I think it cannot be expressed better than through love of something else. I suppose it is also partially about dis-enchantment of Wicca (which I overcame by a sudden realization that I was still actively talking to the Goddess when I got really stressed) .

I am not trying to actively express feelings either for or against love spells, as I believe that, as with all magick, it depends entirely on the intentions of the caster. But I know that even in dark and desperate moments, magick and belief and everything joyous in Paganism can just seep in, lift you up and make everything just a little bit better.

Thank you for reading this article. I hoped you got some enjoyment, or really anything, from it, and to feel free to email me if you wish.

Blessed be
Poppy

The Importance of Doubt in Magic

The Importance of Doubt in Magic

Author: Grey Glamer 

One aspect of spellcasting, which is seldom discussed in occult literature, is the role played by doubt and uncertainty. Most magical texts discuss the importance of belief, encouraging readers to cultivate an unshakeable belief in the efficacy of their spells, while doubt is cast as an obstacle to be overcome through willpower and experience. Believe in magic without fail, we are admonished, lest our spells fail us.

Certainly, doubt constitutes an element, which – left unchecked – can hamper and even negate our magical endeavors. Whenever we second-guess ourselves, we chance losing the laser-like focus so vital for casting spells. Nevertheless, in moderate doses doubt is not only tolerable, but also necessary for the practice of magic. Before we can see how doubt and uncertainty support magic, however, I should clarify what I mean by doubt.

First, there are two kinds of doubt that arise when one talks about magic. The first species is moral doubt, the doubt that asks what we should do. This doubt is the uncertainty epitomized in popular culture by the angel standing upon one shoulder, the devil upon on the other. Moral doubt is the pregnant pause before we take action, the moment when our conscience weighs both the nature and the consequences of the course we’ve plotted. These reflective pauses, during which we endeavor to decipher the dictates of conscience, exercise an important check upon the extremes of religious and social behavior, especially the mob mentality that historically provoked the Burning Times. Without such introspection, we quickly lapse into unthinking zealotry.

Clearly, moral doubt – doubt about what we should do – has its place within the human experience, and consequently within the Witch’s Craft. It’s the second species of doubt – the practical doubt that asks what we can do – which proves more difficult to reconcile with the practice of spellcasting. If magic constitutes a process whereby we effect change, goes the argument, then anything which questions our ability to effect change can only detract from the magical process. If magic were nothing more than the uniformly successful fulfillment of wishes, then such an argument might be regarded as axiomatic.

Magic, however, is much more than simple wish fulfillment. As Witches and Magicians, we often begin with spells for love or spells for money – We may even discover a certain satisfaction in the pragmatic uses of magic! – and yet over time such applications pale in comparison with those deeper motivations for studying magic, namely the cultivation of virtues like wisdom and insight. As our magical practice deepens, we begin to realize the universe answers our entreaties, though frequently through unanticipated means, and our focus turns away from the desires of the moment and towards the contemplation of the universe and our place therein.

It’s during such contemplation we come face to face with practical doubt. When we cast spells for fleeting desires like love or money, often we can cheat doubt, pretending not only that our spell is certain, but also that we are certain our spell is certain. That is, we simply tune out any voice, internal or external, which says our belief in the efficacy of magic is irrational or delusional. Such an approach can work more or less well over the short term. The problem arises over the long term, where we begin to feel the cumulative strain caused by the cognitive dissonance between the belief in natural but unseen forces upon one hand and the default paradigm of materialism upon another.

As Witches and Magicians, we learn to step lightly from one paradigm to another, and yet we’re still human beings living in human society; we never completely abandon those preconceptions instilled within us from birth, especially the pervasive conviction that our material world is the primary – and perhaps only – expression of reality.

The upshot of the argument is this: Try as we might, we can never completely silence the internal monologue that says our belief in magic is crazy. Indeed, the effort is generally counterproductive. The harder one works to ignore doubt, the harder doubt becomes to ignore; by focusing so much effort upon doubt, we actually strengthen the very thing we wish to banish.

How do we escape from this metaphorical Chinese finger-trap? The solution mirrors the counterintuitive means of escape from the literal trap. To quiet the storm of internal monologue, several schools of meditation propose a decidedly gentle approach. Attempting to calm the mind by forcefully imposing our will almost never works. Instead, we should acknowledge our random thoughts and then release them, gently yet firmly returning our focus towards our chosen mantra. During spellcasting, we should treat our practical doubts like any other random thought, as old friends whom we embrace before sending them upon their way. Paradoxically, this gentle approach allows the Witch or Magician to release doubt much more effectively than imposing the will.

There exist schools of magic, which teach, implicitly or directly, that practical doubt must be completely eradicated from the mind, and doubtless my approach will strike adherents of those schools as ineffective or even dangerous. My usual disclaimer applies here: My spells draw upon my unique magical paradigm, and because every occult student develops their own unique paradigm fashioned from their unique perspective, your mileage may vary. Still, our differences are healthy when we learn from one another, and with this goal in mind I share my own views.

An interesting phenomenon happens when we take time to acknowledge our practical doubts: We begin to realize doubt plays an important role within the practice of magic! Christian theologian Paul Tillich once defined faith as the state of ultimate concern, and within this context, doubt becomes necessary for faith. Without the possibility we could be wrong, we have no reason to gamble – and indeed cannot by definition gamble – upon the proposition which constitutes the object of our faith. Without the gamble, we cannot fully involve ourselves in our concern.

Empirical evidence leaves me pretty certain the Earth will continue spinning for the immediate future; while I honor the dance between night and day, I don’t invest much emotional or intellectual energy into wondering whether the dance will continue. My relative certainty that morning will follow evening essentially precludes the immense investment of personal energy, which characterizes the commitment we call faith.

Practical doubt – acknowledging the very real possibility we could be wrong – compels a commitment from the very wellsprings of our being. Yes, we could be wrong. Yes, the universe could call our bluff – and even still we push our humble stack of chips into the middle of the table, gambling on the existential hope we’re not alone. It’s within the gamble where we rise above ourselves, where we learn who we really are. And without doubt, we cannot gamble.

The gamble is crucial for the practicing Witch, precisely because every spell is an affirmation of faith in the Witch’s magical paradigm. Practical doubt enables an emotional and intellectual intensity otherwise impossible, an intensity that empowers the spell. The occult scholar Aleister Crowley famously proposed that somewhere along the magical journey every Magician faces an abyss that must be crossed.

I believe human doubt constitutes just such an abyss, although contra Crowley, I would contend we step across dozens of miniature abysses over any given month. With every spell we cast, we confront – and hopefully overcome – all those nagging doubts about our magical ability. Our doubt never completely goes away; we just become better about making leaps of faith.

To deepen the pools of magical knowledge, we must constantly examine our magical practices. Too often, we allow anxiety to dictate the scope of our magic, and we suffer from anxiety not because we acknowledge doubt, but because we refuse to accept openly both the gamble of faith and the power that follows.

Third among the disciplines of magic is this: To Dare! Where there exists doubt, there also exists the potential for daring, the potential for faith, the potential for magic. May we always enjoy such blessings!

___________________________________________

Footnotes:
Nema. The Way of Mystery: Magick, Mysticism, and Self-Transcendence. Saint Paul, MN: Llewellyn, 2003.

Tillich, Paul. The Dynamics of Faith. New York City, NY: Harper, 2001.

The Blending of Magick

The Blending of Magick

Author: Lady Abigail 

Somewhere deep within the Ozark Mountains, on a mid summer night, stood a small gentle woman wearing a long dark skirt covered with a crisp, clean white apron.

Her face, careworn from years of life, could only give a glimpse of the knowledge she held from worlds long since past.

As she walked across the dry grassy meadow her long skirt brushed against the ground as she looked for where she could best see the night sky. In the middle of the clearing she stood beneath an endless blanket of stars. The warm fragrant breeze was softly blowing her long silvering hair across her face. She began to smile with the understanding she received from this moment in time, a foretelling of a life to come.

This is how, I would be told by my Great Grandmother, that she gained the knowledge of my coming. My Great Grandmother was a Witch, one of the wise ones. She never considered herself as being born a Witch, or that she had came from so many generations of Witches that the number was simply unknown; magick was just part of her and it was her life.

My Great Grandmother was a strong and kind soul of many lives. She was of mixed traditions, a blending of half Native American and half French. She was raised in a time when those who could not believe would try to stop the powers they feared. A time when, with heart and love, anything was possible within the forces of the Earth and Nature.

She was born into a world that was beginning to forget the wonders hidden within every element of nature. A world that scoffed and made fun of those who were different and those of the Old World. At times, it could be a very dangerous world for those born of magick, because such things were considered wrong and somehow evil. What some would, in fear and ignorance, call sinful.

Her upbringing was a mixture of her family traditions; French, Native American, Southern and Cajun, as well as those which came from a long and contented life. She knew potions and charms, how to heal the sick with herbs and soothe a broken heart with a cup of tea sweetened with a listening heart. She could see what others could not see, or would not see. And oh, yes…she could cast spells and work glorious magick.

I loved being with my Great Grandmother; she taught me that life and magick just “are,” no matter what others may believe. That people are only a tiny a part of the mysteries found within life and love, energy and light. For there are truly more things between the worlds than those which can be seen.

I can remember my Great Grandmother telling me stories of her family and childhood, teaching me how it was possible to call the wind in a whisper, stop the motion of time and call on the powers that are held within the elements of nature. She also taught me how we are a part of the natural world and that, if we desire, we can communicate with the animals and insects as well as read the messages, sent to us by all the universe, that appear on a starry night.

She would teach me how to draw on that energy, the magick found in the understanding that we are the Air, the Fire, the Water and the Earth surrounded by all Spirits. We are the concept and the deed. We are all things and all things emanate from within us.

Recently in my studies I have learned of others that come from mixed traditions, such as the mixing of the first settlers of the Old World and the American Indians. The blending of magickal beliefs from those who came over from Scotland, Ireland and, for me, France in the seventeenth century. Some call it Appalachian Granny Magick, Ozark Magick or White Witch Magick. I was raised that it is a gift of Mother (or Goddess). Whatever name you call it, the tradition is complete.

Many times I observed my Great Grandmother as she watched the signs and concocted potions and brews for people from all around where she lived. This act of creation was common practice for families of her time; there was little money and doctors were expensive. Normally a person would have to travel a day or more just to reach a doctor. That travel was not generally possible. She was the Wise Woman, or Healer, of the area.

I remember going with my Great Grandmother, my “Mom Ma,” to pick berries and herbs for different workings. We would make the blackberries into wonderful pies that she would take to those who were ill and cobblers that were for other workings. I would sit and listen to her say wonderful incantations and spells while she stirred the beginnings of a blackberry cobbler or pie. Once the pie was done she would proudly announce, “This, my little love, is a Money Pie, and as you eat, money you will meet.” She was always right.

I didn’t understand or appreciate at the time all the wonders my Great Grandmother would place into my life. Even now she influences my life with wonder and Magick. When I am struggling, or can’t quite decide what the right ingredients are that I’m looking for, if I will find a quiet place and allow my mind and heart to open I will hear the answers. Whispers on the wind are my Great Grandmother’s voice.

Mixed Traditions, like many of the older ones, were passed on from parents to their children for many generations and generally not “taught” outside of the individual family structures. Many times within the community old customs, wisdom, and practices were considered unacceptable. With the modernizing of areas and beliefs, one will often find ancient Irish, Scottish, French and Native American songs, rhymes, dances, recipes, crafts, blended within what we know as “The Craft.” This history has been passed down for many years in this way, though sadly with the original meanings sometimes being lost in the winds of time.

In the hills and mountains of the Ozarks this quality of the ancient religion of Witchcraft continued right on through the decades into the early twentieth century. At times when Witchcraft elsewhere was being eliminated by the increasingly modern and Christian world, the people of the Ozarks were still calling upon Mother Nature. The fertility of the crops, the livestock, and of the people themselves was vital. Therefore, fertility, and the worship of Mother Nature, Father Winter, Chloe, Spider Grandmother, Demeter, and such varied deities continued on within this region, staying a current part of the people’s faith rather than becoming a mythic memory as such “nature worship” did elsewhere.

The terms “Witch,” “Witchcraft,” “spells” and “charms” were not seen as evil or bad. Each community had their local Witch or Wise Woman and openly called them such. This reference was considered to be a title of honor, not an insult or a charge of crime as the term later became known.

Witches were called upon to heal the sick, deliver babies or tend to the dying, just as their ancestors had been so charged with doing in Europe so many years ago. Many times a community had no medical doctor to call upon so the local Witches continued to work as the only healers well up until the early twentieth century.

Many will claim that Magick isn’t possible and that such things are not to be believed in. However, is it not strange that children just know Magick is all around them, but as they grow older they are forced to think they must stop believing in that which just…”is?”

Witchcraft is a blending of Traditions and Magick. Whatever practice you believe in, you are most assuredly a mix of many things such as traditions, beliefs, society, ethnicity, family, social experiences, region and time. We are all from a mixed and proud Magickal background. We are also practical and down-to-earth. Witchcraft, no matter what name you call it, is very eclectic naturally.

A Traditional America Indian Earth Blessing:

A da we hi a ne he ne ha
Do hi u a iu ni
O lo hi a li ga lu lo hi u nah ta
Ga li e li ga O sa da du

English translation:

Wise Protectors, they are so giving
Serenity, it resounds
Mother Earth and Father Sky are so giving
I am thankful, it is good

Lady Abigail

The Natural Witch

The Natural Witch

Author: Hypatia 

My mother was a natural witch. she died in 1998. She was not a nice witch. She practiced dark magick and was not a good mother. She abandoned me when I was just a child. My father tells me she was powerful and passionate. She would scare him with witchcraft.

The memories I have of her are so intense. I remember she loved nature… but she was a hunter. I remember she had a madness that seemed to plague the thoughts of others. I was four when she left on her journey. I guess it’s where she felt she needed to be.

Me… I stayed and waited… the journey of a four-year-old witch was a rollercoaster ride of emotion, turmoil and eventual discovery.

Even at four I felt different. My whole childhood I felt a strange connections to nature and my dreams. My stepmother used to say I was one with my dreams. I talked, walked and enacted my dreams even as I slept.

I ran away a handful of times. I wanted to find my birth mother. The first time I ran away I was 13. I was chanting on the streets of Long Beach, “I will be fine, no one will hurt me”. I came up to a Jack-in-the-Box and sure enough a large black man (maybe large to me because I was all of 13) offered to buy me fries and a drink and asked me to sit down.

I could tell by his eyes that he was a kind man, intuition mind you that I would begin discounting in my late teens. He knew I was running away and managed to talk me down from my emotional ledge. I walked home at midnight on a busy street across from a strip club with a sense of accomplishment. I may not have found my mother, but at least I was looking.

My parents thought I was strange about nature but put it off onto my Navajo roots. I used to stick my head out the window while my parents were driving to get a better look at trees. I spent hours in forest preserves. I always felt like someone was waiting for me. At first I thought it was my mother. It was, but not any mother I could visualize with my mental database at 13.

At 16, I was pushing my birth mother out, everything about her, especially the fact that she was a witch. Actually, as open-minded as I was, I wasn’t very apt to listening to the nonsense people spewed about witchcraft. I didn’t mock it. Somehow even at a rebellious 16, I was still respectful. I hated her though. I hated what she had done to my father.

At 18, I met and fell in love with a beautiful woman; it was the first time I had ever loved another woman in a romantic way. She was a witch. She was older than me. She was my mentor in many ways. I would laugh though as she would cast spells.

I would think she was ridiculous as she tried to teach me. I was intrigued, and the power was still in me, but the chaos was so strong. I couldn’t pull together a fragment of a thought, let alone try to piece together the history of my people.

My beautiful kept telling me that I was a natural witch. She said I had a power that I didn’t even know how to harness. She said she observed my connections with nature, but abilities to get anything I wanted without hurting people and again… the dreams. I told her I didn’t believe in that voodoo. I slowly pulled away from the first coven that I was ever in, without even knowing I was a part of something real.

It wasn’t until I turned 30 and forgave my birth mother that the Goddess really started to hone in on me. I felt Her everywhere. I craved the outdoors just to be near Her. I saw Her face in everything: the trees, the sky and the ocean. It seemed that even the wind was calling my name.

Still friends with the witch from my childhood, I began to confess my feelings. She smiled and said that she had known all along. She was just waiting for me to be found.

I have always had this power. It is confidence. It is love. It is compassion. And it is so much more. I cannot tell you any more than this. I am a private woman with my craft. I will not even share my name with others. The only person I tell anything to is my friend, and she only hears some things.

My husband doesn’t know. My kids are probably natural witches as well and that is a path they will find on their own. I found it, because the Goddess willed it so. I do not know if secrecy makes my powers stronger, but I figure I have no reason to share my identity with the world. If the Goddess wills it to be, it will be.

I wanted to share my story because I believe that others are like me. My grandfather was touched. My mother was touched. My brother and I are both touched. We never talk about it; but we know.

Maybe every person has the potential to harness such great power, but I know in my heart that the Goddess chose me. She sought me out. She spent 30 years waiting for me to find her. After my discovery I knew that She had been with me all along.

In retrospect, I felt Her with me at 11 while I was running through the meadow in the back of my house. I was a bookworm who never read outside. It was almost like outside is sacred. It was my first altar of sorts. I need this always to be my place of solace.

I respect my Mother, my Goddess, and reciprocate her kindnesses. I will always protect Her, the way She has always protected me.

Who Is A Real Witch Anyway?

Who Is A Real Witch Anyway?

Author: Amergin Aradia 

It seems that the debate about who is and who is not a “real Witch” is coming to a head. Is this sect real as opposed to that sect? Are those in covens real Witches as opposed to solitaries’. And on and on it goes. It’s beginning to sound like the fight between factions of the Christian religion or between organized religions as a whole. That’s probably the way they began too.

This silly useless debate is pulling our community apart as well. The truth is, are any of us real Witches. And how do you define a real Witch? By whose standards and rules?

As an illustration of my point I’ll tell you my story. I have always known that I was a Witch, even before I really knew what that was. When I was very young (grade school) I had certain abilities and interests that other kids didn’t. I practiced raising energy, practiced ESP (as it was called then) , I astral projected, and I cast spells. I was drawn to the night, the moon and stars, and I identified with all things “magical.”

I wasn’t trained by anyone because there was no one to train me. I had to figure it out for myself and that was in the 1950’s so you know there were very few references to rely on even if I knew where to look. As I grew up I did what everyone else did then, got a job and tried to live what was considered a “normal” life, as unsatisfying as that was.

I maintained my interests and practices over the years as best I could, if only peripherally. There may have been one or two occult bookstores in the area but you really had to search them out and I only managed to get to one every so often and then only to browse because I didn’t know what I was looking for. You didn’t just walk up to someone and tell him or her you were a Witch and wanted to join a coven. And people didn’t come out of the woodwork to invite you to join one, even if you knew where to look.

So I dabbled, training myself the best way I could using instinct as my guide. At the time I would have loved to have found someone to train me and I would have loved to have found a coven to join so that I wouldn’t feel so alone. But they didn’t exactly advertise. And there was no Internet in those days to bring us all together.

So unless you were lucky, you were on your own. Like it or not.

Now that we have all these books, magazines, and web sites to fill in the gaps I find that my instincts did very well by me. Everything that I taught myself way back then is now being touted as the way to do it by the “experts.” I have since collected an entire library of books hoping to find information that would help me advance my practice but with the exception of a few interesting bits that I’ve added here and there, I have been disappointed.

I have also attended classes, open groves, and ceremonies, and while the people that I met were very nice it just didn’t feel right for me. I’ve also become very disillusioned with the influx of the newest brick and mortar shops. They seem to have become havens of self-help, yoga, meditation, and coffee and music.

And while I practice yoga and meditation myself I don’t want to go to my local Craft shop to pick up a yoga mat, balance ball, or a book by Dr. Phil. I want to pick up the tools for my ceremonies and spell crafting and, unfortunately, the kind of shop I want seems to be few and far between (except on line.) It feels as though the craft as I remember it is being homogenized and made so “acceptable” in the eyes of the general public that it is becoming useless to serious practitioners. But I digress here.

So to sum up this article, does it mean that I am not a real Witch because I had no one to “lead the way” or no coven to adopt me and teach me “their right way”? Quite frankly I think that makes me an even better real Witch because I had to figure it out for myself. And because of that my understanding and beliefs don’t quite fit into any prescribed dogma. So that is why I stay a solitary practitioner and that is why I have stepped back from the community as a whole.

But then I don’t look at being a Witch as a religion, with all of its implied rules and regulations and dogma. I look at being a Witch in the same way that the old village Witches looked at it. I revere the earth and heavens and do my best to respect and tread lightly on her.

I try to live a spiritual life without bowing to or begging the acceptance of any one archetypal being. I look at the Goddess and Gods as a representation on this plane of the source of all energy and power. I cast spells for my own benefit, and mine alone, as I don’t believe I have the right to manipulate anyone else’s life. And I believe that Karma will out eventually.

I believe that being a Witch is as simple as that. It’s in your heart, it’s in your soul, and it’s who YOU know you really are. Not because someone gives you permission to be one simply because you read and adhere to someone else’s views as written down and published. Or because you attend meetings once a week, or once a month, or even once a quarter.

But because YOU know you are. And whether you are solitary or a member of a group, no matter what that group represents, you are really on your own. You must practice, practice, practice, and hold that knowing in your own heart…alone.

That’s what makes you a “real Witch.”