WOTC Extra (a) What is Psychic Protection, and How do I Develop It?

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WOTC Extra (a) What is Psychic Protection, and How do I Develop It?

Lee Anne was a client who had been working on developing her psychic abilities. She was naturally clairaudient but also had been practicing her clairsentience. An empath by nature, she liked being able to feel information in her body. But she also noticed that, as her psychic abilities grew, she was becoming more easily overwhelmed by energies around her, and she was scared that perhaps she would become a target for entities.

It’s true that as you grow in your psychic capability—whichever “clairs” you cultivate—you may find yourself becoming impacted by energies not your own. Clients get very excited as their psychic abilities begin to unfold and often forget that they have to learn to set new boundaries and develop techniques for psychic self-protection. This is not because there are bad things out there trying to “get” us, but because there is a lot of energy, negative thought forms, and just plain junk floating around that we become more sensitive to as we develop psychically.

Psychic protection is simply an intentional practice of creating energetic boundaries and clearing our energy fields regularly so that we aren’t always processing energies that aren’t ours.

Who Should Practice Psychic Protection?

Anyone can benefit, but the following groups will find a practice of psychic protection especially helpful:

• Healers, psychics, Tarot readers, energy workers

• Empaths

• People who work in physically or emotionally challenging environments; i.e. hospitals, war zones, morgues/mortuaries, rehab centers, bars, etc.

• Teenagers or sensitive children

Psychic protection is simple and easy—children can learn to do it—and it makes a huge difference if you work or spend time in places where there are a lot of people and/or challenging, intense emotions flying around. We absolutely are affected by other peoples’ energy. If you are exposed on a daily basis to the anger of other people, for example, you will begin to feel more anger yourself.

School, especially middle and high school, are places of tremendous emotional stress and flux. If you have a sensitive child or even a child on the autistic spectrum, the ambient energies can just be too much. Psychic protection creates boundaries that help keep outside energies from getting into your child’s field. Because children are so open and receptive, it is easy for them to take in the emotions of others. If they have a practice they can use to stay calm and safe, it empowers them and makes things easier at home!

Methods of Psychic Protection

There are probably as many methods of psychic protection as there are healing and energy modalities. I like to use the following simple ritual and then augment with oils or gems if I’m in a particularly negative or charged environment.

I taught Lee Anne this technique, and she noticed an improvement right away.

At the beginning of your day, take a few moments to calm and center yourself. This can be during or after meditation, in the shower, or simply as you are enjoying a quiet cup of coffee. Focus on your breathing, and take a few deep, slow breaths. Then, place your attention on your third eye, and imagine enclosing yourself and your energy body in an egg of golden light. Speak these words: I enclose myself in a protective sphere of golden light. May this light protect me from any emotions or energies that are not my own, and keep me as safe as my karma will allow. I ask my guardian angel to be with and protect me and my guides present to guide me. Love may enter and leave this sphere, and insight and energy of high vibration work for my highest good. Let it be.

You can modify these words to suit your own beliefs. The point is to consciously intend to create a boundary between yourself and the rest of the world, but not a hermetically sealed bubble. You may want to repeat this a few times a day, either when you feel that you should or if you are in an extreme environment or situation.

At the end of the day, I spend a few moments before drifting off doing the following ritual. I again imagine my aura, and I call in my guides and angels to give me a nice aura brushing. I say: Guides and angels, please clear my aura of any residual negative energies or emotions. Sweep my energy through with golden light, cleansing, purifying, and strengthening my own emotional and energetic boundaries. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It takes just a few moments, and I can sometimes literally feel the guides combing through my aura, making it light and “new.”

If you do need extra levels of protection, you can make an essential oil blend that includes frankincense, ylang-ylang, and sandalwood (always dilute in a carrier oil!). Lee Anne likes to just wear frankincense diluted in coconut oil at her chakra points. Helpful stones are black tourmaline, obsidian, or smoky quartz.

It’s important to remember that entities or beings can’t attach to you without your permission, and we attract negative thought forms through like vibrations. If you feel that it’s “too late” for psychic protection, you can contact a psychic or healer to help you clear your field and restore it to a healthful place.

 

 

Published on Keen.com

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Let’s Talk Witch – WHAT IS PSYCHIC ATTACK?

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Let’s Talk Witch – WHAT IS PSYCHIC ATTACK?

In essence, it’s when you’re being adversely affected and harmed by psychic or subtle energy. This energy could be in spirit or thought form, a hex or curse, someone’s ill-intentions that are targeted against you.

It can also happen when you’re being exposed to intense or violent emotional energy that has a lower or harmful nature (like road rage, or someone’s unintentional outburst), or when someone is psychically bullying you.

Psychic attack is not always intentional. Sometimes the person who is guilty of psychically attacking you isn’t aware that their thoughts, feelings, or desires are actually affecting you. Unfortunately, as awareness of this phenomenon grows, I’m seeing more and more people perpetuating this behavior intentionally, which is sad and at times downright creepy.

 

SYMPTOMS OF A PSYCHIC ATTACK:
Nightmares, night terrors
Irrational moods/feelings/fears/worries
The feeling of a “dark cloud” following you around
A heaviness on your heart or soul
Not feeling like yourself
Intense fatigue or depression that had a quick onset for no apparent reason
An eerie or creepy feeling that you’re being watched or not alone
Experiencing frequent hardships/mishaps/accidents/setbacks

 

HERE’S WHAT TO AVOID IF YOU SUSPECT YOU’RE BEING HIT WITH A PSYCHIC ATTACK:
Avoid going into fear
Blaming other people
Thinking that you’re cursed, a victim, or powerless, or a bad person
Judging the other person or spirit is as bad, or fearing that they’re omnipotent, omnipresent or someone/thing that you have to hide from, counter-attack, or destroy.
Why? Because then you’re lending it your own energy, focus, and power, which only serves to make it work against you.

 

TIPS ON HOW TO EFFECTIVELY HANDLE IT SO IT STOPS BY FINDING IT’S “IN”:
Look at your shadow. Years ago when I was learning spirit extraction and release, as well as clearing energy, reversing curses, etc. (yes I still do clearings, no I no longer deal in curses), a shaman I worked with shared that entities and attachments find their way into our energy fields through our shadows (meaning our shadow selves). Our shadow selves are the darker aspects of our whole selves. Our fears, shames, limiting beliefs, judgments, hatred, harmful desires, lusts, deviancies, etc. are all a part of our shadows.

Now your shadow is an integral part of being human, there’s no getting away from it, but what gives psychic attack it’s “in” is when it triggers an insecurity. Plenty of psychic attack or malevolent energy can bounce right off you, but if it hits you in a weak spot, so to speak, that’s when it scores a hit.

Identify your insecurity or weak spot – otherwise referred to as its “in” or back door. This is where your personal power comes into play: Rather than engaging with it, take a look at it, ferret out the insecurity and its underlying fear, and then take steps to resolve it. Depending on what the insecurity/fear is, it could take time to heal, resolve, or release it, but the good news is that once the insecurity has come into your awareness, you’ve found the attacker’s “in”. This puts you in the position of deciding what to do about it, rather than letting it run freely under your radar.

Refuse permission. When you realize that you’re being psychically attacked, and you’ve become aware of it’s “in”, then you have two choices: either react fearfully, or respond with authority. Take a deep breath, ground yourself, and then take the latter choice.

Consciously (either out loud or internally, but keep it private) acknowledge the attack. Acknowledge the insecurity that it’s triggered with compassion, and express gratitude to the attacker for bringing the insecurity to your attention, because now you can heal/resolve/release it. Affirm that the attacker has now served their higher purpose, they no longer have permission to enter, the back door is firmly closed and locked, and the energy can now be dissolved and resolved into Divine light. You’ve got this.

Work with crystal allies. Work with sodalite (self-awareness, self-knowledge, attunement) and mangano calcite (acceptance, nurturing love, gentle healing) while identifying and working through your insecurity.
You can also wear what I refer to a “psychic shield” in my book: black tourmaline (shields the aura), fluorite (cloaks the aura), labradorite (shields the heart chakra), blue kyanite (repels harmful thoughts/intentions), and either black obsidian (repels intentional harmful energy, like curses, ill-wishing, etc.) or jet (for empaths who feel particularly vulnerable, it absorbs energy in your stead).
On a final note, please, please, PLEASE, don’t judge or blame your insecurity or your shadow for making you vulnerable to harm! They’re vital parts of your human essence, and as their function is to catalyze your growth, they’re a beautiful and worthwhile part of who you are and of your life experience. Everything in creation has a higher purpose, even psychic attack, if we choose to see it that way.

A psychic attacker might be trying to do you harm, but if you exercise your authority over the matter, they’re actually doing you a favor. You don’t have to send them a box of chocolates, but the good news is that you don’t have to suffer their intentions, either.

 

Reference
Author: Krista Mitchell
Website: Krista Mitchell

Ms. Mitchell also offers a four hour course on “Psychic Shield: Energy Protection for Healers & Empaths” if you are interested the addy is https://www.krista-mitchell.com/psychic-shield

The Various Paths of Witchcraft: Celtic Witchcraft

Celtic Witchcraft

 

The History of Celtic Magic

Celtic witchcraft has as its basis a strong sense of spirituality and a love of the earth. Central to this love are the Goddesses and Gids, who play a strong role in Celtic worship. The Celtric religion recognises two main deities; the Earth Mother Goddess and the Horned God. But Celtic Wiccans also worship many othre minor deities who each represent specific qualities important to Celtic individuals. Celtic worshippers celebrate the same Sabbaths, perform rituals and magic, and have a strong faith in their spirituality, just like any member of the Craft. The main differences between Celtic witchcraft and other forms of the Craft is that with Celts, magic is everywhere. Magic is woven into their jewellery, their tattoos and all their artwork and everyday items such asclothing and cutlery.

The Druids are the religious leaders of the Celtic people,the wise and magical priestd and priestesses whose special blend of wisdom and magic provided a powerful role model for all the Celtic people. The Druidic priesthood was orginally all-female, which male initiates only becoming accepted after many years.

According to Laurie Cabot, Druidesses were divided into three levels, or classes: the highest class were celibate and lived in convents, and were eventually assimilated into Christianity as nuns. The other two levels could be married and lived either with their husbands, or in the temples. With the onset of Christianity these wise women were called witches.

Spirituality is of primary import to Celtis, and their devotion to the earth, their goddesses and gods and the effeort which they put into their worship is proof of their highly spiritual nature. Although the names of the deities worshipped and the titles of the SAbbats may be different to other Pagan practices, despite the regional dialects which occur in the Celtic rituals, there are strong similarities between Celtic witchcraft and Wicca practiced elsewhere on the globe.

Faerie Magic

Despite the interest in the Celts, there is a great deal of confusion as to who the Celtic people actually were, and where they came from. DJ Conway in her book Celtic Magic explains that the Celts were not only inhabitants of Wales Ireland and Scotland, as is commonly thought, but resided in much of Western Europe. They were a strongly spiritual, artistic and creative people, with a distinctive artwork, orginal alphabet (the Ogham) and a deep respect for faeries, elves, pixies and gnomes.

One need not be of Celtic heritage to practice Celtic magic. Each person who is interested in Paganism will follow a basic set of guidelines, but will adapt the rituals and spells to suit her/himself. One aspect which sets Celtic magic apart from others is their respect for the “little people”: faeries, elves and gnomes, whom the Celts called “Good Neighbours” and treated with honour. Much of the Celtic magic calls for the assistance of their Good Neighbours, with those who were familiar often using the little folks’ fairy circles of mushrooms found in fields, rather than casting their own magic circle. However the Celts realised that it is very important to use another’s circle with respect, and with permission, they are aware that you should never encroach upon another’s magic.

The Warrior Goddess

The Celts were unique in the level of power they attributed to their female Gods. Warrior Goddesses were relatively common, and it was not unusual for Celtic women to fight alongside the male warriors during wartime. Subsequently, women were highly regarded in the Celtic community, with children taking their mother’s name, and daughters inheriting the mother’s property upon her death.

Celtic magic is rooted strongly in the four natural elements: earth, air,fire and water, with many spells and rituals corresponding to at least one of these elements. As in all Wiccan magic, each of the elements is associated with a colour, and with certain powers. For the Celts the colours were North, black; South, white; East, red and West, grey. The Celts also placed a great deal of faith in stones and plants and in their ability to heal. Therefore any practitioner of Celtic magic would be well versed in plants and herbal medicine.

Ritualsinterwined the use of colours, stones, incense and elements representing the natural elements, which are all extremely powerful tools in Celtic magic.

Magical Lives

With the Celts, magic was a common part of everyday life, completely accepted and never questioned. In order to practice Celtic magic one needs to suspend disbelief, turn around the conventional ideas and accept magic into your life. Magic becomes s natural as breathing, sleeping and smiling : a completely normal part of life. As one becomes more familiar with magic, the more accepting one becomes, until there’s not even a second thought about the magic in one’s life.

The White Moon Goddess and the Honrned God are the two deities which personify nature for the Celts, and while the Celts, like Wiccans, believe that all Gods and Goddesses are one God united, is is these two which are the most prominent. Celts worship the triple Goddess: the deity recognised as the maiden, mother, crone. The maiden is Anu, the mother Badb and the crone Ceridwen: each representing woman at three important phases of her llife cycle.

Just as the lunar calendar is important to all witches, it plays a strong role in the Celtic lifestyle. The thirteen lunar months in the Celtic calendar are all named after certain plants and trees. The new year for the Celts starts the day after Samhain (on November 1, its origins being in the Northern hemisphere). Nights were counted, not days, and feasts, rituals and celebrations were always based around the moon. The Celtic day began at midnight.

The Celts were an extremely spiritual people, so when Christian leaders looked down upon their magical tradition, the Celts moved underground: or more specifically to the nearest forest. The Celts were not a sexually repressed people, sexuality was encouraged, and women with children were paid a higher dowery than virgins to become wives – so much was fertility prized. Beltane was considered a most auspicious festivals were often held during this time.

Celtic Rituals

In Celtic witchcraft, rituals honour the essential elements of earth, air, fire and water, and the deities that personify them. Rituals are held in honour of the seasons, the Sabbats and to celebrate auspicious moments in pagan history. Numbers are extremely important to the Celts, with three, five, seven, nine and thirteen holding special significance. Therefore it is auspicious to repeat rituals or affirmations a specific number of times.

Ritual is vital for Celtic magic. The wearing of ceremonial robes, the burning of incense and candles, and the tools on the ceremonial altar – all play an important role in setting the scene for magic. Magic is an oft overused term, but those in the Craft know that it works. With spellcraft one can practice and see the results of magic, constantly gaining strength with each day that passes.

Candle magic was greatly favoured by the Celts, although they preferred tallow lamps and bonfires using specific woods to modern candles we use today. Candle rituals are specific to the individual, but there are a few simple rules to follow unless the ritual specifies otherwise. To perform a spell to increase or obtain, burn during a waxing moon (the period leading up to the full moon). To decrease or remove, burn during a waning moon (the period after the full moon).

Use candles of a specific colour relevant to your spell. Anoint the candle with incense or oil, working from bottom to top for a spell to increase or from top to bottom for a spell to remove. You may also wish to etch words, such s your desires or the name of the deity to whom you are appealing, along the side of the candle to strengthen the purpose of the spell. When performing a ritual with a candle, unless otherwise stipulated, allow the candle to burn out to the end.

 

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Celtic Witchcraft – A Distinct Tradition

In the last decade or so, people have been obsessed with anything that is Celtic, from myth to music.

While witchcraft based on the Celtic tradition has been increasing in popularity, there are many followers who are still not very sure about how this kind of witchcraft is different from the other types of Pagan worship.

This is the kind of witchcraft that loves the earth and it also believes strongly in theology. As such, Gods and Goddesses are important to the followers of this form of Wicca.

The Celtic witchcraft identifies two chief deities. These are the Horned God and the Mother Goddess. Celtic Wiccans do worship other deities as well apart from these two deities, but these are by far the most prominent figures in this tradition.

The Celtic Wiccans are of the opinion that all goddesses and gods are one – but that the Horned God and the Earth Mother Goddess possess real authority. Another deity who is worshipped to a similar degree the Triple Goddess who is identified as the maiden, the mother and the crone. This underlines the female aspect to Celtic Mythology.

The followers of this religion carry out the same magic/rituals as other Wiccans. They tend to celebrate the same holidays or sabbats and they are also very dedicated to spirituality – just like any other Craft member.

Perhaps the main difference between the Celtic followers and other Wiccans is that when it comes to the Celtic tradition, their brand of Magick pervades everything, and it has a very ancient sense of history. Celtic-themed tattoos, jewelry, everyday items and artworks have the presence of magic and they hark back to an ancient but much cherished past.

The religious leaders of the Celts were the druids, a profession that now has a strong modern follower. Those were intelligent priestesses and priests that possessed the perfect blend of magic and wisdom. Only the most respected members of Celtic society rose to the level of becoming a druid. There was a time when the priesthood of the druids included only the females. However, this changed later on and the druidic orders started to accept males too. Again, this points to the very strong female basis that underpins the Celtic outlook on life.

Druidesses were said to be of three classes or categories.

DruidsThe first class was the celibate class and the priestesses of this class lived in convents. The other two levels of Druidesses had the freedom to marry and live with their husbands. They could also live in the temples.

The Celtic Wiccans of today are extremely spiritual people and you will be able to see this when you see how much work they put in to their worship. They are also very dedicated to earth as well as their gods and goddesses. While at first glance there seems to be very little difference between the Celtic followers and other Wiccans from all over the world, they have an outlook and a world view that is quite unique.

However, the fact remains that the Celtic Wiccans have a lot in common with non-Celtic Wiccans worldwide. The philosophy and ‘world view’ which emphasizes the power of nature remains central amongst all Wiccans.

When it comes to Magick, the Celts have woven it into each and every aspect of their lives. This outlook often has complete acceptance amongst all followers. If a person wishes to become a Celtic Wiccan then he or she will have to completely believe in magic and accept it into his or her life. People consider magic as normal as smiling, sleeping and breathing.

The Celts honor the earth’s essential elements like air, water, earth and fire in their rituals and they also pay respect to the deities that represent these elements. Rituals are held by the Celtic Wiccans to pay respect to the Sabbats, the different solstices and the various seasons. Harking back and celebrating the ancient past in a constant in these ceremonies.

The Celts believe that numbers are of vital importance to them and some of the numbers that have special meaning. These include 13, 9, 7, 5 and 3. The Celts are also of the opinion that rituals are of vital importance for their magic.

They pay attention to each and every minute aspect when it comes to creating a setting for Magick, such as using candles and incense, the necessary tools and wearing the correct ceremonial robes.

What you may not know is that the Celts are very religious people. In the ancient Celtic nations, women who had children were given a higher ranking in society than women who were virgins. This was because the Celts prized fertility.

For many, the Celts represent a freedom and an alternative society to the modern day one. The ancient Celts of northern Europe strongly resisted the advance of ‘civilization’, in the form of the Roman Empire, upon their lands.

They were outsiders and connected directly to the land, so the idea of instead aligning themselves with a foreign emperor clashed directly with their beliefs. It is this free-spirited nature that still attracts people to the Celtic ideal.

 

Reference

Cormac O’Dwyer, Librarian and Senior Witch
7 Witches Coven

Different Types of Spellcrafting: Banishing

 Banishing

In many traditions of Paganism, banishing is done to get rid of negative or unwanted energy, or even people who may be causing problems in our lives. While some traditions frown upon banishing as manipulative magic, on the theory that it impacts the free will of another, if your tradition has no prohibitions against such things, then there’s no reason you can’t do a banishing spell.

 

There are a number of different methods to accomplishing a successful banishing. Which one you choose will vary, depending on how comfortable you are with the different techniques, and what you’re trying to achieve.

 

Disclaimer: The spells contained here are collected from years of personal experience, folk magic traditions, and various occult sources as noted. They are posted with the intention of being helpful to those who are looking for spell resources, and may need to be adjusted to fit your individual need. Please bear in mind that if your particular belief system prohibits you from casting certain types of spells, you should probably not do so—however, it’s important to recognize that not all magical traditions follow the same set of guidelines when it comes to spellwork.

 

If you’re here, chances are good you’ve already read about the basics of banishing and getting unwanted metaphysical entities out of your life. However, sometimes, we have actual people in our lives that cause problems, and this is where a banishing spell comes in handy. There are a number of different methods you can try – just make sure that the one you use doesn’t violate any of your own personal moral or ethical guidelines.

 

If you’re trying to get rid of an unwanted spirit, one of the most effective methods is to simply give it its marching orders. Be firm and blunt, and say something along the lines of, “This is not the place for you, and it’s time for you to leave.” You may wish to offer a blessing or well-wishes if it makes you feel better about things, and say, “It is time for you to move on, and we wish you the best in your new place.” Frequently, this will do the trick and eliminate whatever problems you may have been having.

 

Elemental Banishing
A popular method of banishing is the use of the various elements, such as fire or water. Fire can be used as a method of purification and cleansing, by way of destruction. Water is used in a number of religions for a variety of purposes, including banishing. You can make your own consecrated water for use in rituals.

 

Salt is also a great tool for banishing. In some magical traditions, it represents earth, and has been used for centuries to get rid of negative energy. In some folk magic traditions, black salt – a blend of sea salt and another item such as charcoal – is used as a protective barrier.

 

Use fire to burn a symbol of whatever it is you wish to be rid of, or earth to bury it.

 

Ritual and Spellwork
In some circumstances, banishing may involve more than simply sprinkling some salt and telling someone (or something) to go away. If you have a person, for instance, who is harassing you, it may be time to do a full fledged banishing ritual. A banishing ritual usually includes a combination of the following:

 

The name of the person you wish to banish from your life
A specific and active description of what you intend to happen. For instance, “Make Susan a better person” is rather vague and passive – instead, try “Susan will stop harassing me at work.”
A magical link, or taglock, connected to the person you wish to banish
A great deal of magic relies on symbolism, so use this to your advantage in a banishing. You can freeze someone’s behavior by magically binding them, or even reflect the negative behavior back at them. A couple of simple methods include:

 

A basic binding which metaphysically ties the hands of the individual. Try the tongue-binding spell if you’re dealing with someone who is spreading nasty rumors about you.

Use a box with mirrors inside it to reflect negativity back to the individual who is harassing you.

You can create a banishing spell using the basic Spell Creation Template, and perform it as necessary. Feel free to make your banishing ritual or spell as over-the-top and extreme as you wish – getting rid of someone who is causing you pain or heartache is a pretty significant thing, so unleash as much magical mojo as you feel you need!

 

Banishing Folklore
To Make Someone Leave You Alone

 

This one comes in handy when you’ve got someone in your life that you can’t avoid—a co-worker or classmate—but you’re tired of being harassed by them. They’ll still be around, but they’ll stop bothering you.

 

Write the individual’s name on a piece of paper. Burn the paper around the edges using a black candle (black is associated with banishing magic), and as you do so, let them know that you are burning away whatever feelings (animosity, lust, jealousy, whatever) they may have towards you. Burn as much of the paper as you can, until all that’s left is their name.

 

Take the last bit of paper to the place where you normally see them— work or school or wherever—and dig a hole and bury it. You can also tear the paper into tiny pieces, and blow it away or scatter it to the winds.

 

Another option? Use the Chill Out spell, to get the person to chill out and move on.

 

How about some balloon banishing? Write the person’s name on a small piece of paper, and insert it into a balloon. Fill the balloon with helium, and then take it far away and release it into the sky.

 

The Get Out of My Life Poppet
This is a good one to use when you not only want to be left alone, you want the person completely out of your life. Light two black candles (black for banishment!), one on each side of your workspace.

 

Create a poppet out of whatever material you prefer to use (cloth, clay, wax, etc). As you assemble the poppet, make sure you tell the poppet how much you dislike it, and how your life would be a heck of a lot better if it would get out. Make sure you use a magical link so the poppet knows who it represents.

 

If you’re in a hurry to get the person out of your life, you can “light a fire under their butt” with the candles (important safety tip here, make sure you only SINGE the bottom of the poppet rather than actually lighting it on fire). Take it to the edge of your town, and bury it outside the city limits… if you make it out of clay you can smash it instead of burying it. Allow the candles to burn down until they are gone.

 

Four Thieves Banishing Spell
In some Hoodoo and folk magic tradition, an item known as Four Thieves vinegar is used. You’ll need to brew up a batch before you get started. Use the recipe here: Four Thieves Vinegar

 

Use this spell to keep someone bothersome away from you.

 

Write your target’s name on a piece of paper—some traditions recommend you use brown paper, or parchment. Soak the paper in Four Thieves Vinegar. Fold the piece of paper up as small as you can, and bury in the dirt somewhere. One school of thought is that you should bury it in a pot, preferably under a plant like a cactus, so no one will ever disturb it.

 

Banishing Spellcrafting

 

Banishing spells are spells designed to send something or someone away or to prevent their return.

 

To banish something means to send it away or drive it away from a location. In the mundane world banishment implies that whoever is banished can never return or is no longer welcome, but magical banishment is a little different.

 

Banishing Rituals
A banishing ritual is often performed at the beginning of a ceremony in order to rid the ritual area of negative or unwanted energy or entities that may interfere with magick or unbalance energies that will be raised or summoned during the ceremony. Most magical paths prescribe a banishing ritual of this type prior to any spellwork or magick of any sort.

 

A banishing may also be performed at the end of a ritual to banish any entities that were evoked or invoked during the procedure or to clear the energy that has been raised from the ritual area to allow it to return to mundane use. For example, you would banish the energy from the love spell that you performed in your living room so that it can return to normal living room use and not affect everyone who comes in there innocently trying to watch the evening news.

 

A banishing may be performed on the ritual space or on the magic-user(s) or both, however, when you perform a banishing ritual on an area, you do internalize it somewhat automatically. The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram is a basic banishing ritual that is a primary requirement of initiates into the Golden Dawn. It is used to prepare a ritual area and also to prepare the magic-user by focusing their mind and energy on the task at hand, creating a magical atmosphere and an altered state of consciousness.

 

One may banish summoned energies and entities as well once their presence is no longer required. Although the word “releasing” is most often used, the Watchtowers that are evoked at the four corners of the Circle in many rituals are, in fact, banished at the ritual’s end.

 

Introduction to Banishing Rites by Phil Hines

Banishing Spells
Banishing spells are designed to drive away anything the magic-user feels is a threat or a nuisance; a person, an obstacle, a debt, a disease, an addiction, a bad habit, etc.

 

A banishing may be performed on a home, to drive away unwanted energies, discord, stress, etc. undesirable entities, such as ghosts and troublesome faeries and other spirits.

 

A banishing spell may be performed on a person to banish an addiction, an affliction or an influence another person has over them.

 

Banishing spells are also performed on objects to rid them of connections to prior owners or any energies picked up during their use, often in preparation for programming or charging them for a a new purpose.

 

The term cleansing refers to a banishing done to remove unwanted energies from an person, location or object. The term exorcism is used to describe a banishing for an unwanted entity, especially an uncooperative, unfriendly one.

 

Performing a Banishing Spell
While banishing spells can be performed at any time, they are most effective if performed during the waning phase of the moon while the moon is in the sign of Capricorn or Scorpio. Saturday is a good day for general banishing spells. (See also Spell Timing as there are better times for the banishing of specific things.) The best time is at the dark of the moon, but before the new moon appears.

 

Some say that your movements should be widdershins when performing a banishing spell, but some believe that it’s bad luck to move in any direction other than sunwise while performing a spell.

 

For many banishing spells, an object is chosen to represent the person, idea, thing or energy to be banished. This item is then charged or programed to represent the target using various means and then symbolically sent away. Running water, such as a river, a sewer drain or even a flushing toilet is often utilized in this way. It is important that the item be of safely biodegradable nature so that your spell work does not bring harm to the environment or clog up the pipes.

 

Banishing of energy or entities may take the form of a more complicated ritual involving fumigating or asperging an area, person or object. If you are banishing energy from your person, a ritual bath may be in order.

 

These Herbs are Useful for Banishing Spells
• Angelica
• Anise
• Bay Laurel
• Black Cohosh
• Cyclamen
• Devil’s Claw
• Garlic
• Heliotrope
• Hellebore
• Holly
• Mistletoe
• Nettle
• Pine
• Pokeweed
• Rosemary
• Rue
• Solomon’s Seal
• Stinging Nettle
• Thyme
• Vervain

These Minerals are Useful for Banishing Spells
• Black Salt
• Bloodstone
• Jet
• Smoky Quartz
• Tourmaline
These Incense are Useful for Banishing
• Dragon’s Blood
• Pine Incense and Oil

Reference

Patti Wigington, Published on ThoughtCo
Witchipedia

 

Various Paths of Witchcraft/Wicca: Seax-Wica

 

Seax-Wica

 

Seax-Wica

 

Seax-Wica (also known as Saxon Witchcraft) is a tradition of modern Pagan Witchcraft which is largely inspired by the iconography of historical Anglo-Saxon Paganism. The tradition also draws inspiration from Anglo-Saxon Witchcraft in England between the 5th and 11th centuries CE, during the Early Middle Ages. However, unlike Asatru or Theodism, Saxon Witchcraft is not a reconstruction of the early medieval religion itself.

 

The tradition was founded in 1973 by Raymond Buckland, an English-born High Priest of Gardnerian Wicca who moved to the United States in the 1970s. Buckland had been dissatisfied with the corruption, abusive behavior, and ego trips he saw in some covens and developed Seax-Wica to answer those concerns. His book, “The Tree”, was one of the first books to explore modern Pagan Witchcraft from a solitary perspective. He offered serious seekers both an introductory text on Saxon Witchcraft, a tradition of modern Witchcraft that could be practiced alone, as well as with a coven.

 

The tradition primarily honours Germanic deities such as Woden and Freya, the typical 8 Sabbats of modern Pagan Witchcraft, and uses a minimal set of the usual ceremonial tools and a spear. Runes are significant and regularly discussed.

 

Seax-Wica

The Tree (1974) was the founding text of the Seax tradition.
Seax-Wica is a tradition, or denomination, of the neopagan religion of Wicca which is largely inspired by the iconography of the historical Anglo-Saxon paganism, though, unlike Theodism, it is not a reconstruction of the early mediaeval religion itself.

 

The tradition was founded in 1973 by Raymond Buckland, an English-born high priest of Gardnerian Wicca who moved to the United States in the 1970s. His book, The Tree, was written with the intent for it to be a definitive guide to Seax-Wica, and was published in 1974 by Samuel Weiser, and subsequently republished in 2005 as Buckland’s Book of Saxon Witchcraft.

 

The tradition primarily honours four principal deities: Woden, Thunor, Frig or Freya and Tiw. These are seen as representations of the Wiccan deities of the Horned God and the Mother Goddess. The tradition uses a minimal set of ceremonial tools, including a spear. Runes are also significant.

 

Openness
Seax-Wica does not employ any secrecy oath. Buckland’s Book of Saxon Witchcraft was written in mind that the reader would already be well versed in the various techniques of Witchcraft and Wiccan ritual. However, Buckland has pointed out that his Complete Book of Witchcraft gives instructions on how to proceed when no tools are available. These instructions are enough to allow one to begin, self-initiate, and consecrate one’s first tools.

 

Organisation
Seax-Wica allows self-dedication as entry into its tradition. In the Seax tradition, covens work by a form of democracy, electing, un-electing, and re-electing coven officers, the high priest and priestess. Within ritual settings, there are the thegn, a type of sergeant-at-arms/guard/watchman, who can also be responsible for the covenstead (the meeting place of the coven), or guarding a ceremony being performed; there is also a scribe/secretary, who keeps most, if not all, of the coven’s records. The word “Thegn”, or “Thane” is an Anglo-Saxon title (Anglo-Saxon: þeg(e)n meaning “a servant, one who does service for another.”)

 

Buckland was not the head of the tradition, but is respected as its founder, and continued to practice and contribute to it, until his death on September 27, 2017.

 

The first elected steward of Seax Wica is Wulfeage (Sean Percival) on 2006,[citation needed] who was elected by covens worldwide and is still steward to this day

 


Seax-Wica

The History of Seax-Wica is a short and interesting one. There are no long myths of the origins of the tradition, no claims to antiquity, and very few conflicting versions of how the tradition came to be.

 

Mostly Seax-Wica came from the vision of one man, Raymond Buckland. While he was in America teaching the tradition he learned from Gardner to us willing Americans, he found his own ideas developing along lines that differed in important ways from Gardner’s. So, he kept true to his oaths of silence and split with Gardner. He spent many years researching Pagan traditions, and he sat down and wrote, from start to finish, Seax-Wica.

 

Seax-Wica has a basis of Saxon belief. From what Buckland has said and what I have read, there is a mish-mash of traditions and celebrations intermixed into this tradition, mainly because the Saxon culture itself was made up of many different traditions as well. Many scholars have tried to separate out “pure” Saxon from the rest, and it can’t be done.

 

Because of this, you have a Norse influence in the Gods’ names. Instead of something completely different, the God is Woden and the Goddess is Freya. If you didn’t know that the Saxons were heavily influenced by the Norse, you could get more than a bit confused by this seeming deity displacement.

 

Along with the deity influence, probably the best known feature of Seax-Wica is the rune script. In the research I have done on the Internet to see what everyone else thinks of Seax-Wica, I have found 30 different pages with just the rune script on it, and no other information on Seax-Wica. I find this interesting since this rune script is very close to that used by the Norse and their famous FUThARK script. Why use a copy when you can use the original?

 

One thing that was a novelty in 1974 when Buckland started Seax-Wica was that none of the ceremonies or rites were secret. There was no oath of secrecy binding members of the groups together, nor was there an iron-clad rule that stated everything learned must be passed down without any changes. Individual Priests and Priestesses were encouraged to do research and add to the tradition if it suited them, and to share that knowledge with everyone that was interested.

 

Regardless of any of that, Raymond Buckland developed Seax-Wica in 1973 and wrote The Tree which was published in December of 1974. This book encouraged the seeker to look beyond what he wrote and to add it to the tradition if they wanted to.

 

The rituals are on a solar cycle, although Moon rites are encouraged. However, unlike many traditions, it is not only the God that is celebrated during the Sabbats, but both deities, and the same holds true for the Moon Esbats as well. Both God and Goddess are honored at each rite or ritual held in their honor. There is no ritual sacrifice of the God, no supremacy of the Goddess and the Priestess.

 

There is also a transition time from the Lord to the Lady and vice-versa. In the Seax-Wica tradition, Samhain is the time of the start of the new year, and it is also the time when the Lord is more influential than the Lady. The Lord is supposed to lead the Wiccans through the night of winter into the spring. At Beltane the Lady takes over from the Lord and leads the Wiccans through the summer and fall, when the Earth is alive and growing. Note that one is not supreme to the other, but rather it is a division of who has more guidance over the world during their times. Like every good parent, if necessary the Lady will respond if called upon during the winter and the Lord will act if called upon during the Summer.

 

There are no power plays because the Covens are truly autonomous and democratic. Each year a vote is taken by the Coven, and a new Priest or Priestess may be elected at this time to lead the Coven for the coming year. Some Covens elect both at the same time each year, others elect the Priest in the Summer, and the Priestess in the Winter. But it is plain that it is almost impossible to have a “Coven Cronies” syndrome without some extraordinary circumstances occurring. There are no degree systems, no initiations, other than the one that makes one a Wiccan. After that, the new initiate has the same right and authority to speak and be heard as the Priestess of the Coven. From the moment of initiation, the new Wiccan is considered a Priest/ess of the Gods.

 

The actual rituals that are written down in The Tree are short and to the point. There is little that is confusing about the rite itself, other than some unclarity about just what some of the tools are used for. In a few cases, a tool is called for in a ritual that is never used again. For instance, the wand is called upon as necessary for the Ostara celebration, but in actual practice it is not used in the rite at all.

 

One of the more prominent differences between Seax-Wica and other traditional practices is the Athame (called a Seax in Seax-Wica). In this tradition it can be single or double edged. The Seax is also used in a variety of everyday uses that many traditional practitioners would be shocked to find a ritual knife being used for, from cutting herbs in the garden to cutting the roast for the dinner table that night. The rationale for this is that the more you use a ritual knife, in whatever purpose, the more of yourself you put into the blade and the better able it is to mesh with your energies during a ritual.

 

This is the reason that many of the standard tools are missing from Seax-Wican practice. For example, the White Handled Knife, normally used for making inscriptions, is replaced by the Seax. The same for the Boline or herb knife. The Cords, used in many traditional Covens, are absent from most of the Seax-Wican tradition except during initiation and cord magick, in which any cord can be used. There is also no Scourge and no ritual flagellation in the Seax-Wican practice. A spear is added to the ritual implements for one of the officers to use in the execution of his duties.

 

Seax-Wica is focused more on the religion of Wicca than the Witchcraft and spellcraft aspects. In The Tree there is some information on spell casting, herbs and divination, but a practitioner of Seax-Wica would be well-rewarded to get some supplemental works and books on magick and divination to round out their education. This is intentional. The Tree assumes that the person going into Seax-Wica is either already well read in Witchcraft or they are willing to become so.

 

Another change is the absence of the Maiden and the Crone coven positions. There are four officers in a Seax-Wican coven, but to replace them, the Thegn (pronounced Thain) and the Scribe were made. The thegn position combines many duties but mostly they act as the coven Sergeant-at-Arms. They are responsible for summoning the Coven for the ritual, drawing the physical boundaries of the Circle and acting as the Stage Manager during the ritual. The holder of this position uses the Spear.

 

The Scribe is the Coven secretary. This person is responsible for keeping all of the coven records, from membership rolls to monies received from donations, to agreements for hand partings. If the coven chooses to become a legal church, this would be the person that handles all the paperwork involved in this undertaking.

 

One other major difference is that Seax-Wica, unlike most traditional groups, recognizes self initiation. The rationale for this stance can be summed up in one phrase, “who initiated the first Witch?” As such, the declaration of Self Dedication is seen as just as valid as a coven initiation and little to no emphasis is placed upon “So and so, initiated by whom, initiated by this person…” or the lineage of a witch.

 

While this can and does cause some conflict with other traditions, it also encourages those who have little to no contact with other like minded people to acknowledge their deities and their choice of religion.

 

With all the advantages listed above, there are some problems with the practice however.

 

The encouragement to add to the tradition can lead to eclecticism run rampant. Researching the roots of Paganism and Witchcraft can lead to a mixing of cultures that can be confusing to a new practitioner of Seax-Wica. However, many good covens try to break out what has been added to the tradition from Buckland’s teachings and truly try to not confuse cultures and practices.

 

Another drawback is because Seax-Wica recognized self dedication, it can promote the “one book and I’m a Witch” mind set that has been so prevalent in recent years. With a book like The Tree this is especially dangerous. The Tree, the main Book of Shadows for this tradition, is spare in the rituals and explanations of those rituals. As stated before, it assumes you are already well read in Wicca. If a new practitioner started with The Tree as their primary reference, it could lead into the new person leaping into Wicca full bore without much of the information that is needed and without consideration of what they are about to do or how it will affect the rest of their life. But this problem is more prevalent if one uses The Complete Book of Witchcraft as the sole source of information rather than The Tree.

 

It also can lead to the “Insta-Priest/ess” syndrome where this practitioner is considered a Priest/ess of Seax-Wica and they have little to no study in many of the areas that are important to the Priests and Priestesses out there. However, to those with a true vocation, who are willing to put in the time and effort to research Wicca and Paganism and Witchcraft, this can be a tremendous advantage. There are those who were not able to find a coven to join or a group who was practicing to initiate them who were able to be with the Gods and participate in an environment that is, to all intents and purposes, free of politics.

 

This, unfortunately, leads to many various levels of knowledge in the Seax-Wica community as a whole. One good thing that comes out of the sparsity of information is that if you do have a call upon your heart, the finding of information is a joy, and all the others who don’t have a similar call will probably leave Wicca and Seax-Wica after a while and it’s popularity has faded. But this is also a problem in the Wiccan community as a whole, rather than unique to Seax-Wica.

 

The rituals as written by Buckland and his wife, Tara, are somewhat perfunctory. This “minimalistic ritual” can be good in that there is little to read or memorize for a specific ritual and it leaves a lot of room for elaboration. But this can also be bad in that there is little feel for the ritual because you are not given time to become involved with the rite before the celebration is over. However, some judicious elaboration and rewriting of the rituals can take care of that problem, and some of the rituals, like the hand fasting, are exceedingly powerful if done properly.

 

The final disadvantage that I can think of is that the way Buckland writes the tradition, it seems shallow. Not that the practitioners are shallow, but the practices, rites and way of doing things feels like it has no depth to it.

 

I must state this this last point is my personal opinion, and it stems mostly from how I got to Seax-Wica in the first place. I came to Seax-Wica from Mormonism, where rituals and a close connection with God are encouraged, but conformity in the Church is even more encouraged. So it is possible in the framework of Mormonism to have absolutely no testimony of the Church, the Bible, God or anything else they believe in and still be a member. Just so long as you know what to do and when to do it. I had no sense of the Religion, and was looking for something to fill that void. Seax-Wica was the instrument I chose to fill that gap, and over time it did. I have a sense of the Gods now, but I did not when I first started out. All of this sense of the Gods came from independent study of outside materials.

 

This can be overcome with study and a true sense of the Gods, but it could turn some off. I think in some ways, this was intentional, but I don’t know. It may simply be that there are no illusions about Seax-Wica being the continuation of something from the mists of time, so it will take time for a deep respect for Seax-Wica to be developed.

 

As you can see from this introduction to Seax-Wica, there are many strengths to it and the disadvantages can be overcome with study and perseverance. This tradition of Wicca is one that has a great deal going for it, but it is also a tradition that has mostly been dismissed by more traditional groups because of it’s lack of antiquity. However, if one accepts that all religious paths are ultimately made by humanity for humanity, then this lack of roots becomes a small matter.

 

It can even become the basis for an in-depth study of many Pagan paths, as well as a starting point for a lifelong seeking of knowledge.

 

I, myself, started with Seax-Wica. I jumped into the Wiccan Religion and into Seax-Wica completely from the beginning. That starting point led me to Celtic Religions, Druidry, and eventually into Witchcraft. It taught me a sense of who I am, and Seax-Wica showed me what I did and didn’t want in a religion that I followed. For a time, I thought, like many, that Buckland was a God and that everything he said was the TRUTH and completely infallible. But I also believed that the picture of Covens he painted was the truth, where all the members got along, and cooperated with each other and that the members loved each other with everything they had. I believed that Wiccans were a group of people who had identified what was dark and negative inside themselves and that they had taken steps to eradicate it in their lives. I believed it so strongly that I desperately wanted to be part of that group.

 

Well, time passed and I am wiser than I was. But because of how Seax-Wica was presented to me, and how Wicca was presented through Seax-Wica, I still wish to be part of this group

 

Seax-Wica is not for everyone. If you decide to follow this tradition there will be much asked for by the Gods. Study, practice, reading and research, internalizing lessons and evolutions of yourself will all become necessary. You will be asked to present the Best of what a Wiccan Priest/ess can be at all times, to your fellow Wiccans, and to others who will never understand what Wicca is about.

 

But despite all that, or because of it, your relationship with the Gods will truly become personal and internal. This is an excellent starting point, so long as you are willing to work and do your share.

 

And, ultimately, isn’t that what a religion is supposed to do?

 

Reference:

Wikipedia

Erin’s Journal

The Tree by Raymond Buckland Publisher: Samuel Weiser Publication date: December 1974 ISBN: 0877282587
Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft by Raymond Buckland Publisher: Llewellyn Publication date: December 1986 ISBN: 0875420508

The Various Paths of Witchcraft: Kitchen Witchcraft

Kitchen Witchcraft

Kitchen witchcraft is witchcraft based in the kitchen, often incorporating much in the way of cooking and herb work. There are large overlaps with hearth witchcraft. Kitchen witches are, if anything, more come-as-you-are and tend to use kitchen items as tools when required.

There’s a growing movement within modern Paganism known as kitchen witchery. The kitchen is, after all, the heart and hearth of many modern households. When you have a gathering in your home, where do most of your guests hang out? Why, the kitchen, of course! Also, thanks to a declining economy, many more people are making meals from scratch and the kitchen has once again become a place where people spend hours, rather than minutes.

So it’s no surprise that kitchen witchery has seen a rise in popularity.

Meal Prep as Magic
When you take the time to put meals together from the basic ingredients, you have a magical opportunity at hand. You can infuse every dish with intent and will. A meal can stop being something you dump out of a can, and start being a ritual in and of itself. When you take the time to prepare something with your own hands, it lends sacredness to the meal, and will make you want to spend time savoring it with your family rather than just snarfing it down on your way out the door to soccer practice. By changing the way you view food, its preparation, and its consumption, you can craft some practical magic at its simplest level.

How To Bring Magic Into the Kitchen
As you become more aware of what it’s like to live magically, and more in tune with your own actions and activities, you may at some point realize that your own kitchen is a magical one.

There are a number of things you can do to enhance the magical atmosphere in your kitchen. Try some or all of these to get started.

First of all, consider having a kitchen altar. The stovetop is today’s equivalent of the hearth fires of old, and it’s where most food preparation is done. Create a small altar with items that can be moved as needed—add a statue of a home or hearth goddess, a cauldron, or a candle.

If you like, paint a trivet with symbols of your tradition.

Make sure your herbs are readily accessible in your kitchen. If you cook with them, display them in decorative jars. Make sure that they’re not sitting in direct sunlight, though, or they’ll lose their potency. If possible, have live plants in pots to use during the year. Keep fresh vegetables on hand as well.

Read up on practices like Feng Shui so you can optimize your work space for maximum efficiency, both spiritual and practical.

Keep the space clean. Much like any other sacred space, physical cleanliness maintains spiritual cleanliness. It’s hard to find balance in a place that is cluttered and chaotic. Make sure countertops are wiped down after each meal, keep the sink free of dirty dishes, and organize cupboards and shelves so they are easy to use.

Want to feel joyful every time you walk into your kitchen? Paint the walls in colors that are comforting and happy! If your house still has the 1970’s metallic flecked wallpaper in the kitchen, it’s time to get it out of there. Choose a color that makes you and your family feel good — earth tones are soothing, yellows are happy and bright, and greens bring prosperity and abundance.

Keep cookbooks and recipes organized where you can find them. You might even want to have a special book of magical recipes that you keep separate from your regular Book of Shadows.

You can also incorporate magical practices into your cooking. When you’re stirring a recipe, consider stirring in a deosil or widdershins direction, depending on the goal you wish to achieve. If you’re making a sandwich, spread condiments like mustard in a sigil for your purpose. When you bake bread, add herbs or spices that correspond to your magical needs.

Get your kitchen clean and organized, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful path as a kitchen witch!

 

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Kitchen Witchcraft

As with all the diverse paths of witchcraft there is no one single definition of what it is to be a kitchen witch. There are practises many kitchen witches have in common but any individual will make the path of the kitchen witch her own. That said there are some common traits that help make up the definition of those practising kitchen witchery.

The kitchen and specifically the hearth or the kitchen fire is traditionally seen as being the heart of the home and the family. For the kitchen witch the kitchen and the hearth are the central focus of her path. The hearth itself – or for those witches who have homes without a hearth – the kitchen fire or stove will play an intrinsic part in the magic she works. Kitchen witches are likely to undertake a lot of workings with fire, be it fire to create (cooking) or fire to destroy (burning to banish).

The kitchen witch may choose to keep an altar in the kitchen – devoted to deity, ancestors, elements or spirits depending on the personal nature of her beliefs. This may be incorporated into the magic she works, it may have a protective function (items for protection may not necessarily be in the form of a formal altar, a kitchen witch may prefer to hang charms about her work space) or it may simply be a focal point for worship. Some kitchen witches choose to honour the Gods/Goddesses associated with the home – perhaps most popularly Hestia the Greek Goddess of the hearth.

A kitchen witch’s path is often about improvisation and the use of ordinary common place objects to work magic. Unlike some (usually Wiccan) witches a kitchen witch may choose not to differentiate between ceremonial and everyday tools. Kitchen witches may use the same knife for sacrifice or ritual as they do for chopping the vegetables. The usefulness of items is emphasised above their sanctity and it is the view of some witches that it is the utility of the object that lends it the power.

A kitchen witch is likely to be interested in every stage of food production and this begins with growing her own herbs and vegetables and raising her own livestock. Of course this is not practical for every kitchen witch but it is likely there will be a nod to the food production process in the home of every kitchen witch. This may vary from running a full size farm to growing a pot of basil on the windowsill but the idea is the same – the witch is working with ingredients she has grown herself.

There is sometimes a misconception that the path of the kitchen witch focuses exclusively around food and the preparation of meals. This is not true although cooking does play a big part in this particular craft. Stirring intent into meals, cooking with specially selected magical herb and using organic and homegrown produce are solid trademarks of kitchen witchery. The crafting and creating however is not limited to the production of food and many kitchen witches will incorporate more diverse crafting such as soap making, weaving, knitting, using natural ingredients to create home made medicines and other traditional crafts into their practise. Magic can be as effectively achieved by sewing intent into a shirt as it can be by stirring intent into the dinner and it is important not to pigeon hole the kitchen witch as working in a single limited capacity. If anything the focus on improvisation and use of everyday tools for workings make the kitchen witch an unusually diverse practitioner. Those who think she is just good for baking cakes underestimate her greatly.

Kitchen Witchery – although a relatively modern term – is perhaps one of the most traditional paths a witch can walk. The kitchen witch looks for meaning in the mundane and usefulness in the easily accessible. She hides in plain sight better than most and incorporates her mundane routine with her magical life in a harmonious manner. There is perhaps no modern witch treading a more similar path to her ancestors than the kitchen witch who works her magic in the heart of her home and her family.

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Reference

Patti Wigington, Published on ThoughtCo.com

Witch Path Forward

Different Paths of Witchcraft: Stregheria

Stregheria

Stregheria is a branch of modern Paganism that celebrates early Italian witchcraft. Its adherents say that their tradition has pre-Christian roots, and refer to it as La Vecchia Religione, the Old Religion. There are a number of different traditions of Stregheria, each with its own history and set of guidelines.

 

Today, there are many Pagans of Italian descent who follow Stregheria. The website Stregheria.com, which bills itself as “the home of Stregheria on the web,” says,

 

“Catholicism served as a veneer that was fitted over the Old Religion in order to survive during the period of violent persecution at the hands of the Inquisition and secular authorities. To many modern Italian Witches, most Catholic saints are simply ancient pagan gods dressed in Christian garb.”

 

Charles Leland and Aradia
Stregheria appears to be based primarily upon the writings of Charles Leland, who published Aradia: Gospel of the Witches in the late 1800s. Although there’s some question about the validity of Leland’s scholarship, Aradia continues to be the basis of most Stregheria traditions. The work purports to be a scripture of an ancient pre-Christian witch cult, passed along to Leland by a woman named Maddalena.

 

According to Maddalena, by way of Leland, this tradition honors Diana, the moon goddess, and her consort, Lucifer (not to be confused with the Christian devil, who is also named Lucifer).

 

Together, they had a daughter, Aradia, and she comes to earth to teach people the ways of magic. To some degree, this teaching is focused on enlightening peasants as to how to overthrow their tyrannical masters, and find freedom is escaping from societal and economic constraints.

Leland’s material gained in popularity among Italian Americans during the 1960s, but his work was not the only influence on what is today practiced as Stregheria.

 

During the 1970s, author Leo Louis Martello, who was open about his practice of Italian witchcraft, wrote numerous titles detailing his family’s practice of magic originating in Sicily. According to Sabina Magliocco, in her essay Italian American Stregheria and Wicca: Ethnic Ambivalence in American Neopaganism,

 

“While the secret nature of his family magical practice made it impossible for him to reveal all its characteristics, he described it as a remnant of Sicily’s cult of Demeter and Persephone, preserved under the guise of Marian worship in the Catholic Church. In fact, he claimed that Sicilian families concealed their pagan religion under the guise of devotion to the Virgin Mary, whom they interpreted as simply another version of the goddess Demeter.”

 

There has been some skepticism towards Leland’s claims. Author and scholar Ronald Hutton has theorized that if Maddalena did exist, the document she gave Leland may have contained her own family’s hereditary tradition, but that it was not necessarily a widespread practice of “Italian witchcraft.” Hutton also suggests that Leland had enough knowledge of local folklore that he could, conceivably, have made the whole thing up in its entirety.

 

Regardless of the source, Aradia has had a significant impact on modern Pagan practice, particularly among those who follow Stregheria.

 

Stregheria Today
As with many other Neopagan religions, Stregheria honors both male and female deities, typically personified as the moon goddess and the horned god. Author Raven Grimassi, in his book Ways of the Strega says Stregheria is a blend of ancient Etruscan religion blended with Italian folk magic and early rural Catholicism.

 

Grimassi says of his tradition of Stregheria,

 

“The Arician Tradition strives to maintain the ancient mystery teachings while at the same time working to adapt to modern times. Therefore we do embrace new material and teachings, but we do not discard older material.”

 

Interestingly, there are some practitioners of Italian witchcraft who have tried to distance their version of Stregheria from Grimassi’s and the other Neopagan forms of the religion.

 

Some, in fact, have complained that it’s become “too blended” with Wicca and other non-Italian traditions. Maria Fontaine, a third-generation Stregha from Pittsburgh, says,

 

“A lot of what’s traditionally sold as Stregheria by Neopagan authors is an offshoot of Wicca with Italian names and customs mixed in. Although there are some similarities, it’s very different from traditional Italian folk magic. It’s like the difference between eating real Italian food in a village in Tuscany, and going to your local Olive Garden restaurant for dinner. There’s nothing wrong with either, they’re just very different.”

 

 

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Stregheria

We believe that the Great Spirit, or source of All things is both masculine and femanine in nature.

 

We believe that all humans have a spark of divine within themselves, the soul.

 

We also believe that we are actually spiritual beings who are temporarily encased in physical body.

 

We believe in reincarnation and view it as a process for spiritual liberation from the physical dimension.

 

We believe in psychic abilities and the supernatural as normal conditions which have been suppressed by the Judaic/Christian culture, but may be restored through the practice of the Old Ways.

 

We believe in magick as a manifestation of energy that is directed by the mind through various ancient techniques.

 

We believe in spiritual worlds and spiritual beings.

 

We believe in the Law of Action and Reaction, and that what we do affects others, and what others do affects us. Therefore we always strive to live in peace with everyone.

 

We believe in Karma, we believe in responsiblity and consequences.

 

We believe in love, life and harmony as the spiritual foundation of our ways.

 

We believe in the expression of religious beliefs through rituals and festivals.

 

We believe in Earth Energy, we acknowledge places and objects of natural power existing upon our planet.

 

We believe in a positive afterlife and a successful spiritual evolution.

 

We believe that everything in Nature is of equal importance. Everything is linked and entwinded beyond seperation.

 

The Triad Traditions

Most every religion has different “sects” within it. This braching off allows each group to specialize in a particular area, as well as creating a healthy diversity within the tradition. Stregheria or Strega also has branches or sects. Making up the Old Religion are three groups, known as the Triad Traditions. They are known seperately as the Janarra, the Tanarra, and the Fanara. When Aradia first brought the Old Religion to the people of Italy, she taught her followers the secrets of the Earth, the Moon, and the Stars. With the beginning of the persecution of witches in Italy, the Religion split. Each group was entrusted with one section of the mysteries.

 

They seperated. The Fanara, who are the Keepers of the Earth Mysteries, centered in northern Italy. They kept the secrets of ley lines, and other forces of the Earth. The Janarra and Tanarra both occupy central Italy. The Janarra are the Keepers of the Lunar Mysteries. They are entrusted with the mysteries of the lunar energy, and other powers of the Moon. The Tanarra are the keepers of the Stellar Mysteries. They hold the mysteries of stellar forces.

 

Common to all three traditions are the arts of herbalism, divination, magic, ritual,and other aspects associated with the Old Religion.

 

Each tradition has one person who is responsible for maintaining the purity of the Tradition, as well as ensuring its continued survival. This leader is called the Grimas. The Grimas allows only new aspects to be added to the Tradition that do not deviate from the original teachings. Each Grimas has a working knowledge of the other traditions. They work together in making decisions which will effect the Old Religion. Basically, it is their job to make sure the Strega religion stays true to its followers.

 

A fourth tradition now also exists, developed by Raven Grimassi Originally a branch of Tanarra, it is known as the Aridian Tradition. It is a blending of the Triad Traditions, and is an attempt to restore the original Religion Aradia brought back to the people long ago.

 

Stregha Ritual

The Watchers called Grigori, are called to guard the ritual circle and to witness the ritual. Strega also recognizes a third person, Aradia. She came to be known as the Holy Strega, a spiritual teacher and wise woman. The message of Aradia, called the Covenant, offered her followers the path to freedom and personal empowerment. Aradia also taught that the traditional powers of a witch would belong to any who adhered to the way of the Old Religion. Aradia called these Gifts and Beliefs. The Charge of Aradia is the message she left her followers.

 

The Covenant of Aradia

Observe the times of the Treguenda, for therein is the foundation of the powers of Stregheria.

 

When good is done to you, then do good to another. If someone wishes to repay you for a kindness, then bind them to go out of their way to help three others, then this shall clear the debt.

 

Do not use the arts of Stregheria to appear powerful among others. Do not lower the standards of the Art and thereby bring contempt upon the Old ways.

 

Do not take the life of anything unless it is to preserve life, yours or another’s.

 

Do not give your word of honour lightly, for you are bound by your words and by your oaths.

 

Do not accept any authority over you unless it is of the Gods. Instead, cooperate with others but do not be a slave and always preserve your honour. Give respect to others and expect respect in return.

 

Teach all who appear worthy and aid the continuance of the Old Religion.

 

Do not belittle another’s religious beliefs, but simply state your own truths. Strive to be at peace with those who differ.

 

Do not purposely cause harm to another, unless it is to prevent true harm to yourself or another.

 

Strive to be compassionate to others, and to be aware of the hearts and minds of those around you.

 

Be true to your own understanding and turn away from those things which oppose the good in you, or are harmful to you. Hold reverence to all within Nature. Destroy nothing, scar nothing, waste nothing, live in harmony with Nature, for the ways of Nature are our own ways.

 

Remain open in your heart and in your mind to the Great Ones who created all that is, and to your brothers and sisters alike.

 

Charge of Aradia

Whenever you have need of anything, once in the month when the Moon is full, then shall you come together at some deserted place, or where there are woods, and give worship to She who is Queen of all Witches. Come all together inside a circle, and secrets that are as yet unknown shall be revealed.

 

And your mind must be free and also your spirit and as a sign that you are truly free, you shall be naked in your rites. And you shall rejoice, and sing; making music and love. For this is the essence of spirit, and the knowledge of joy.

 

Be true to your own beliefs, and keep to the Ways, beyond all obstacles. For ours is the key to the mysteries and the cycle of rebirth, which opens the way to the Womb of Enlightenment.

 

I am the spirit of witches all, and this is joy and peace and harmony. In life does the Queen of all witches reveal the knowledge of Spirit. And from death does the Queen deliver you to peace and renewal.

 

When I shall have departed from this world, in memory of me make cakes of grain, wine, and honey. These shall you shape like the Moon, and then partake of wine and cakes, all in my memory. For I have been sent to you by the Spirits of Old, and I have come that you might be delivered from all slavery. I am the daughter of the Sun and the Moon, and even though I have been born into this world, my Race is of the Stars.

 

Give offerings all to She who is our Mother. For She is the beauty of the GreenWood, and the light of the Moon among the Stars, and the mystery which gives life, and always calls us to come together in Her name. Let Her worship be the ways within your heart, for all acts of love and pleasure gain favor with the Goddess.

 

But to all who seek her, know that your seeking and desire will reward you not, until you realize the secret. Because if that which you seek is not found within your inner self, you will never find it from without. For she has been with you since you entered into the ways, and she is that which awaits at your journey’s end.

 

Gifts of Aradia

In the fourteenth century, Aradia taught that the traditional powers of a witch would belong to any who followed in the ways of the Old Religion. Aradia called these powers “Gifts”, she also stressed the point that these powers were the benefits of adhering to the Old Ways, and not the reason for becoming a witch.

 

These are the powers:

 

To bring success in love
To bless and consecrate
To speak with spirits
To know of hidden things
To call forth spirits
To know the Voice of the Wind
To possess the knowledge of transformation
To possess the knowledge of divination
To know and understand secret signs
To cure disease
To bring forth beauty
To have influence over whild beasts
To know the secrets of the hands

 

The Strega Wheel of the Year

“The Treguendas”

The Strega Wheel of the Year turns as the Wiccan does, It is written; “Aradia teaches us that Nature is the Great Teacher, and that by participating in the seasonal festivals, we come to know the higher ways of the Spirit.” The celebrations are similar to the Wiccan Sabbats. These celebrations are called Treguendas. There are eight Treguendas which make up the year. Four major rites occur in October, February, May and August. These are the Spiritual Festivals. Four minor festivals occur on the Spring and Autumnal Equinoxes, and the Summer and Winter Solstices. These are agricultural festivals.

 

ShadowFest — La Festa Dell’ Ombra — October 31

ShadowFest marks both the beginning and ending of our year. On November Eve, we mark the time when our Lady descends into the Underworld seeking to understand the Mystery of Death. She meets Dis, the Lord of the Underworld. She is angry with him, for he has taken away those things that she loved. He tells her it is not he who does this, but age and fate which robs her of these things. He simply tries to make the time until they are reborn more pleasant. Eventually, he wins her heart. They come together in Holy Union, and share their mysteries with each other.

 

Winter Solstice — La Festa dell’ Inverno — December 21/22

Goddess gives birth to the new Sun God, the child of the Holy Union of ShadowFest. The Watchers, known to the Streghe as the Grigori, come to see this new child, but are suprised to see Janus there presenting his new-born child. It is here that we see Dis and Janus are the two faces of the Great God. The Grigori then proceed to the world of man, bringing the new Lord of the Sun. Lupercus, the Sun, once again begins his growth.

 

Lupercus — Festa di Lupercus — February 2

The Festival of Lupercus marks the puberty of our Lord, Lupercus. The Grigori have set “twelve labours” before the young Wolf God that he must master to prove his worth as the new Sun God. Lupercus proves his worth by completing the tasks. Lupercus is invoked at this time of year to scatter the wolves of the dark winter night. Assisting us in releasing the atavistic power within us all. Through him, we are free of the constraints of our bodies, and of the winter season.

 

Spring Equinox — Equinozio della Primavera — March 21/22

The Vernal Equinox celebrates the beginning of the Goddess’ ascent from the “Realm of Shadows”. Longing for her children and the light of the Sun, She emerges. As She returns, the Earth awakens, and her children rejoice. This is a time of great fertility. It is also the time that the God Lupercus is slain in a hunting accident. Yet he rises the next day as the new Sun God, taking on the persona of Janus. His brother, Cern, takes rule of the Waxing Year on Earth and will, with the regenerative growth of his antlers, become the Horned God of summer.

 

Tana’s Day — La Giornata di Tana — May Eve/May 1

Celebration for the full return of the Goddess from the Realm of Shadows. She has returned to her hidden children, bringing with her the Mysteries she has learned. We also celebrate God and Goddess, and their delight in each other. They court, and the world is made merry. Goddess becomes the dominant force, and the Goddess months begin.

 

Summer Solstice — La Festa dell’ Estate — June 21/22

Summer Solstice marks the marriage of God and Goddess. From this union comes the bounty of the Harvest Tide. This is a time of growth and life. At this time we do works to heal the Earth. This is also a time when the Elemental forces are abound in great number. We honour the fata, the elementals, and other spirits of Nature. (For the witch and the fata are of a similar nature…)

 

Cornucopia — La Festa Di Cornucopia — August Eve

The celebration of anticipation of plenty. This is the time of the First Harvest. God is preparing to sacrifice himself so that the world can continue. Even as we begin our harvest, we plant the seeds of rebirth. For those seeds which are planted now and nurtured over the cold winter will become the strong plants of spring.

 

Autumn Equinox — Equinozo di Autunno — September 21/22

Time of the full harvest. The bounty of the harvest is due to God’s sacrifice of himself. Janus now dies and departs to the Underworld. The Lord of Light has now become the Lord of Shadows. He now becomes the Hooded One, and after this Treguenda, we too become hooded in our rites until the Goddess begins her Ascent again at Primavera. Our God Cern is killed in another hunting accident, and Lupercus again takes rule of the Waning Year. Grieving for her lost lover, Goddess descends into the Realm of Shadows, seeking him. In celebratation, we feast upon the bounty of the harvest. We count our blessings and prepare for the upcoming Winter.

 

Reference

 

Article by Patti Wigington, Published on ThoughtCo 
Grimassi, Raven: Italian Witchcraft, Llewellyn Publications (previously titled Ways of the Strega).
Leland, Charles Godfrey: Aradia, the Gospel of the Witches, Witches Almanac Publishing
Martello, Leo Louis: Witchcraft, the Old Religion, Kensington Press
Aymen Fares, Published on Spiritual

The Various Colors of Witchcraft – White Magick

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The Various Colors of Witchcraft – White Magick

The White Witch

O brothers mine, take care! Take care!
The great white witch rides out to-night.
Trust not your prowess nor your strength,
Your only safety lies in flight;
For in her glance there is a snare,
And in her smile there is a blight.

The great white witch you have not seen?
Then, younger brothers mine, forsooth,
Like nursery children you have looked
For ancient hag and snaggle-tooth;
But no, not so; the witch appears
In all the glowing charms of youth.

Her lips are like carnations, red,
Her face like new-born lilies, fair,
Her eyes like ocean waters, blue,
She moves with subtle grace and air,
And all about her head there floats
The golden glory of her hair.

But though she always thus appears
In form of youth and mood of mirth,
Unnumbered centuries are hers,
The infant planets saw her birth;
The child of throbbing Life is she,
Twin sister to the greedy earth.

And back behind those smiling lips,
And down within those laughing eyes,
And underneath the soft caress
Of hand and voice and purring sighs,
The shadow of the panther lurks,
The spirit of the vampire lies.

For I have seen the great white witch,
And she has led me to her lair,
And I have kissed her red, red lips
And cruel face so white and fair;
Around me she has twined her arms,
And bound me with her yellow hair.

I felt those red lips burn and sear
My body like a living coal;
Obeyed the power of those eyes
As the needle trembles to the pole;
And did not care although I felt
The strength go ebbing from my soul.

Oh! she has seen your strong young limbs,
And heard your laughter loud and gay,
And in your voices she has caught
The echo of a far-off day,
When man was closer to the earth;
And she has marked you for her prey.

She feels the old Antaean strength
In you, the great dynamic beat
Of primal passions, and she sees
In you the last besieged retreat
Of love relentless, lusty, fierce,
Love pain-ecstatic, cruel-sweet.

O, brothers mine, take care! Take care!
The great white witch rides out to-night.
O, younger brothers mine, beware!
Look not upon her beauty bright;
For in her glance there is a snare,
And in her smile there is a blight.

James Weldon Johnson, 1871 – 1938
Published on Poets.org

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White Witchcraft

White magic has traditionally referred to the use of supernatural powers or magic for selfless purposes. With respect to the philosophy of left-hand path and right-hand path, white magic is the benevolent counterpart of malicious black magic. Because of its ties to traditional pagan nature worship, white magic is often also referred to as “natural magic”.

In his 1978 book, A History of White Magic, recognised occult author Gareth Knight traces the origins of white magic to early adaptations of paleolithic religion and early religious history in general, including the polytheistic traditions of Ancient Egypt and the later monotheistic ideas of Judaism and early Christianity.

In particular, he traced many of the traditions of white magic to the early worship of local “gods and goddesses of fertility and vegetation who were usually worshipped at hill-top shrines” and were “attractive to a nomadic race settling down to an agricultural existence”. He focuses in particular on the nomadic Hebrew-speaking tribes and suggests that early Jews saw the worship of such deities more in terms of atavism than evil. It was only when the polytheistic and pagan Roman Empire began to expand that Jewish leaders began to rally against those ideas.

During the Renaissance
By the late 15th century, natural magic “had become much discussed in high-cultural circles”. “Followers” of Marsilio Ficino advocated the existence of spiritual beings and spirits in general, though many such theories ran counter to the ideas of the later Age of Enlightenment. While Ficino and his supporters were treated with hostility by the Roman Catholic Church, the Church itself also acknowledged the existence of such beings; such acknowledgement was the crux of campaigns against witchcraft. Ficino, though, theorised a “purely natural” magic that did not require the invocation of spirits, malevolent or malicious. In doing so, he came into conflict with Johannes Trithemius who refused to believe in Ficino’s theory but created spells and incantations of his own related to beneficial communication with spirits. His works, including the Steganographia, were not published until the 17th century and were then immediately placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum where they remained until the 20th century. Trithemius’ “disciple” Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa was responsible for publishing some of his work and in turn created his own. His work included the De occulta philosophia libri tres which contained an outline of, among other things, classical elements, numerology, astrology and kabbalah and detailed ways of utilizing these relationships and laws in medicine, scrying, alchemy and rituals and ceremonies. Giambattista della Porta expanded on many of these ideas in his Magia Naturalis.

It is the coming-together of these ideas – early “natural” religions and later philosophical thinking – that Knight suggests is “at the root of the Western tradition of white magic”. Also at the root of white magic are symbols and religious symbolism in particular. The star, Knight gives as example, was of critical importance to Jewish tradition and then to early Christians (like the Star of David) and to later Masonic tradition and Neo-paganism.It continues to be of importance of white magic practitioners in the form of the pentagram and night-time ritual.

Zambelli goes further and suggests that white magic – though then not specifically distinct from its counterpart black magic – grew as the more acceptable form of occult and pagan study in the era of the Inquisition and anti-witchcraft sentiment. If black magic was that which involved Trithemius’ invocation of demons, Ficino’s “purely natural” white magic could be framed as the study of “natural” phenomena in general with no evil or irreligious intent whatsoever. Zambelli places academics like Giordano Bruno in this category of “clandestine” practitioners of magic.

Modern interpretations
In his 2009 book, Magic and Alchemy, Robert M. Place provides a broad modern definition of both black and white magic, preferring instead to refer to them as “high magic” (white) and “low magic” (black) based primarily on intentions of the practitioner employing them. His modern definition maintains that the purpose of white magic is to “do good” or to “bring the practitioner to a higher spiritual state” of enlightenment or consciousness. He acknowledges, though, that this broader definition (of “high” and “low”) suffers from prejudices as good-intentioned folk magic may be considered “low” while ceremonial magic involving expensive or exclusive components may be considered by some as “high magic”, regardless of intent.

According to Place, effectively all prehistoric shamanistic magic was “helping” white magic and thus the basic essence of that magic forms the framework of modern white magic: curing illness or injury, divining the future or interpreting dreams, finding lost items, appeasing spirits, controlling weather or harvest and generating good luck or well-being.

Goddess worship
Though not exclusively a female pursuit, modern white magic is often associated with stereotypically feminine concepts like that of a Mother goddess, fae, nature spirits, oneness with nature and goddess worship.In modern stories or fairy tales, the idea of “white witchcraft” is often associated with a kindly grandmother or caring motherly spirit. The link between white magic and a Mother Earth is a regular theme of practitioner Marian Green’s written work.

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White Witchcraft

Practiced to provide good intentions to the people around you.

The practitioners are often said to have a Wiccan faith. This is a religion which is guided by modern pagan beliefs. It allows one to look in the earth and aspire for its development.

Practitioners believe in the threefold return. This belief says that for every good action you make, the return of this is three times in magnitude. This also applies in the bad side. However Wiccan practice does not encourage bad practices in life.

Practitioners normally utilize prayers and rituals. They use spells to provide luck to the people around them.

Practitioners also use objects which are highly useful for witchcraft. Some witches utilize talismans and crystals. They are said to benefit a lot from such objects.

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Understanding White Witchcraft

White witchcraft is a common theme in movies and TV stories, but it’s a bit more of a tricky subject than you might think. If you have already done some study into Wicca or witchcraft, you probably already have a little introduction into the differences between black and white magic spells.

If you have decided to work with white witchcraft, that generally means you will only cast spells with positive intention and not do any hexing or curses. Of course, not everything can be labelled quite so neatly and you may have some thinking to do about your intentions when it gets into some of those in-between gray areas.

A curse is a clear type of “black magic” but what about a binding to just keep someone away from you? Some would say that it’s not harmful, but some might still see it as a negative approach to interfering with another person’s free will.
Some people feel that the whole concept of white magic is impossible to achieve anyway because everything you do will effect someone else, and that can end up with all kinds of consequences that go way beyond your original intentions.

Instead of worrying about the details, just live your life in a good way and don’t deliberately try to hurt people. That’s usually good enough. Of course, sometimes other people deserve some negative energy but that’s another topic altogether.

Sometimes people add the “white witchcraft” label to themselves just to make other people feel less nervous. So many people misunderstand what witchcraft is that they need a little (meaningless) assurance that we’re not evil.

So if you are looking to get involved in white witchcraft, that really just means you have a positive attitude when you cast spells and that you never seek to harm another person. Pretty much all the spells on this site would fall into that category, but I do have a few pages specifically on white magick spells that you can check out.

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White Witches

White magic is different from black magic because of its purposes. While the latter induces harm or pain from the other party, white magic is cast for the welfare or the good of the person who will benefit from it. Fortunately, a white witch has more power than a black witch. In this case, we can expect that the good will always win over the bad.

For what purpose do White witches use White Magic?
For its great deal of power, white magic is used to bring good or protect people from black magic curses or spells. A white witch also uses her power to destroy or break any types of black magic. White magic protects an individual from the harms caused by black magic.

There are certain spells and magic that white witches can do for you. One of them is the love spell which is the most popular among other spells because we all deserved to feel love and to love. It is the most in-demand forms of white magic as it is to cast love spells on the apple of your eyes. Also, it is used to bring back lost love, to strengthen an existing bond, or to attract a new lover.

In addition, it also protects people in a relationship. For instance, couples can get the services of a white witch to protect their marriage and prevent them from getting separated or divorced. Aside from that, there are also specific cases you can be helped by white witches like lost love, soul mate, anti-lying spells, and lust, among others.

Aside from relationship spells, there are also things your white witch can do when it comes to money and finances. It is another in-demand branch of white magic that is commonly used- money spells.

If you want to become a successful businessman, it is one of the beat spells that you can have because it can take your business and financial status to the next level especially if you follow procedure instructed by your white witch. This type of white magic is one of the most commonly requested by people when it comes to their economic status.

This type of spell will drive money to you; thus, adding more fund onto your bank account. If you need some financial gain this year, hire an expert witch to perform this spell for you. Aside from helping you get more money, you will also have the chance to manage your business effectively.

Moreover, there is also the healing spell that your white witch can perform for you in order to get you rid off your sickness. It is also one of the most requested types of white spells that you can ask from your expert witch.

If you’re loved one is sick, you can also consult this witch to help him recover from his sickness, pain, or injury. This type of healing spell is used to help people who are affected by a certain disorder in their emotional, mental, or physical being.

These are three of the most prominent spells that your white witch can perform for you. To guarantee perfect and desired results, you have to make sure that you also have the pure intention.

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Reference:
Wikipedia 
Awaken the witch within 
Free Witchcraft Spells 

Various Types of Witchcraft – Hereditary Witchcraft

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Hereditary Witchcraft

As you meet more and more people in the Pagan community, you’ll occasionally encounter someone who claims to be a “hereditary witch.” They may even tell you they’ve been “Wiccan since birth,” but what does that really mean?

Well, it could mean a variety of things, but for a lot of us, it generally sends up a red flag when someone uses the phrase “born witch” or “Wiccan from birth.” Let’s look at why that may be the case.

Is There Witch DNA?
You’re not born Christian or Muslim or Hindu. There’s no “Wiccan DNA” that makes any one person more genetically witchy than someone who begins practicing in their fifties. You simply cannot be a Wiccan since birth because Wicca is an orthopraxic religious system that generally involves you doing and believing certain things that make you Wiccan. You can be raised by Wiccans–and many children are–but that doesn’t make you Wiccan from the moment you pop out of the womb, it simply means you were born to Wiccan parents.

That said, certainly, there seem to some people who may be more adept at Witchy Things at some point in their life, but there’s no chromosomal or biological difference in these folks as compared to the general population. You’ll obviously meet people that are psychically gifted, and whose parent or grandparent or child also displays these same traits. But if you operate on the assumption that everyone has some latent psychic ability anyway, it may be that these individuals were encouraged to use their talents while growing up, rather than repressing them like the majority of other people.

You may also encounter people in the Pagan community who claim “born witch” status because of some ancestral link to an individual in the past who was accused of witchcraft. You’ll bump into plenty of people who think Salem ancestry makes them special. It doesn’t, for a variety of reasons.

Familial Traditions of Magic
Also, there are certainly hereditary traditions of witchcraft, but by “hereditary” we don’t mean that the practices are biologically inherited.

These are typically small, familial traditions, or Fam Trads, in which beliefs and practices are handed down from one generation to the next, and outsiders are rarely included. PolyAna identifies as a hereditary witch, and her family hails from Appalachia. She says,

“In our family, what we do is more of a folk magic tradition. My son and I and my granddaughter, who is adopted, practice the same folk magic as my mother and grandmother did. We’ve done it as far back as anyone can remember. We follow the Celtic gods, and my Granny was nominally Catholic but brought a belief in the old gods with her from Ireland. She found a way to make it work, and we’ve carried on those traditions.”

PolyAna’s family practices aren’t typical, but there are certainly other hereditary traditions like hers out there. However, it’s hard to even estimate how many there are, because the information is generally kept within the family and not shared with the general public. Again, this is a family tradition based on practices and beliefs, rather than any documentable genetic link. For families with an Italian background, Stregheria is sometimes practiced in the United States and other countries.

Author Sarah Anne Lawless writes,

“The passing on of traditions through the family is a global concept, and is not restricted to culture or continent. There are many family traditions existing in the United States… who all bear a striking resemblance to the fairy doctors and cunning folk of Northern Europe, many of whom were hereditary themselves. The traditions… were strict and binding; they could only teach one student from the next generation of the family of the opposite sex. In many older witchcraft families in the UK, the traditions of transferring knowledge are thought to follow similar rules.”

For many modern Pagans, including those in hereditary family traditions, witchcraft is either a skill set that is developed and honed over years of practice, or it’s a belief system that is seen as a religion that one spends a lifetime working towards.

For some people, it’s a combination of the two.

So, after all that, could someone be part of a hereditary familial tradition? Absolutely, he or she certainly could. But if what they’re claiming is some sort of biological superiority that makes them witchier than everyone else, you should consider it suspect at best.
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Hereditary Witchcraft

Are You:

psychic?

drawn to dark, mysterious things?

not just interested in Vampires and Faeries, you want to be one?

unable to stay away from books about witchcraft and sorcery?

able to see or sense ghosts, and the past lives of places?

excited about going to places like Salem, or Whitby?

into dark glamor and wish to convey a powerful presence?

compelled by the Mysteries?

having trouble staying in your body? Are out of body experiences a away of life?

Since childhood you have practiced rituals to either placate the Gods, or communicate with spirits.

in a natural deep communion with nature and the spirits in trees, plants, animals, and landscapes.

passionate that sacred things and places must be protected.

more perceptive than most other people you know?

convinced that you have to keep these qualities to yourself.

These are just some of the possible traits that can indicate that you may be a hereditary witch — that you are a carrier of the Witch Blood

How it Used to Be
I grew up in the 1960’s and 1970’s, in a small town of Irish and French Catholics in Massachusetts. Witches were believed to be either fairy tale characters or evil old women who were burned at the stake in the Middle Ages.

England had serious laws against witchcraft until 1951. After these laws were repealed, Gerald Gardner went public with Wicca, a religion he developed by cobbling together folk lore, the ideas of Margaret Murray, some involvement with British magical traditions, and perhaps with a mix of the tribal ritual he may have seen in his years as a civil servant in Indonesia.

Robert Cochran came along later claiming to come from a long line of witches, as did Sibyl Leek. Still, the idea of a family carrying on an unbroken heritage of witchcraft or magical practices was considered a very wild claim. Yet some people seemed to be born with psychic and magical powers, were clearly drawn to tales of witchery and magic, and had the imagination to create communities of like minded souls who came together to be witches.

Those desires had to come from some place! This is where the idea of the Witch Blood was born. It may have been Robert Cochran who coined the term to describe people who for some inexplicable reason were willing to risk everything — jobs, houses, partners, families, etc. in order to pursue the path of witchcraft. Witch Queen Maxine Sanders was driven out of her home by frightened neighbors and had another house torched when they found out she was a Witch, even though she had done them no harm.

The conclusion was that, just as in fairy tales in which the Beggar Maid is discovered to be a Princess by virtue of her uncharacteristic beauty and refinement, someone with witch blood in their veins can be spotted by other witches. Perhaps there are people who come from families where the Craft was practiced long ago. These practices went underground, or were replaced with Christianity, but something remains in the genes that is passed down to one or members of the family unrecognized, or misunderstood.

Dormant Witch Blood can also be ignited by Initiation into Wicca, Faery Witchcraft practices, and the creation of a magical way of life.

Now
Today, many people have been born into witch families, and raised in the Craft. There is no doubt that they are hereditary witches and carry the Witch Blood. There is no mystery surrounding it as there when I was a young person just finding this stuff out about myself.

Still, I am sure that there are some in the current generation who feel these things and have no role models in their families. Their families may even be fundamentalist Christians — I have known a few people like that. Some Christians doth protest too much, and some ex-witches have gone into Christianity because of bad experiences in covens, or after frightening themselves when the magic actually works! They can be the most virulent antagonists against witchcraft.

Of course films and now television are currently having a field day with witches. Teenagers can take them on as role models, and in many cases, not be stigmatized as weirdos. In general, I have found witches to be a pretty happy lot, optimistic and creative, imaginative and fun loving. If sinister overtones are there, it is because of the dark cycle we all must go through, and the way some us walk between the worlds. Some witches are also sociopaths, but that isn’t just because they are witches, nor is sociopathology exclusive to witches and magicians.

If you have found yourself wandering in the woods, or walking the hills like a lost soul, hoping somewhere deep inside, where even you cannot verbalize it, that you will find them, then you might be blessed with the witch blood. If you leave offerings for the spirits, try to engage others to sit in a circle and call the spirits, if you feel you have a secret name, you might have the witch blood. If you are more drawn to these things than “normal” activities, are more comfortable in nature than in a church, if you can’t get your nose out of certain types of books….then I may have news for you….you maybe a Hereditary Witch,

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Reference
Patti Wigington, ThoughtCo 
Winterspells 

Various Paths of Witchcraft: British Traditional Witchcraft

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British Traditional Witchcraft

 
British Traditional Wicca, or BTW, is an all-purpose category used to describe some of the New Forest traditions of Wicca. Gardnerian and Alexandrian are the two best-known, but there are some smaller subgroups as well. The term “British Traditional Wicca” seems to be used in this manner more in the United States than in England. In Britain, the BTW label is sometimes used to apply to traditions which claim to predate Gerald Gardner and the New Forest covens.

 

Although only a few Wiccan traditions fall under the “official” heading of BTW, there are many offshoot groups which can certainly claim kinship with the British Traditional Wiccans. Typically, these are groups which have broken off from a BTW initiatory line, and formed new traditions and practices of their own, while still being loosely connected with BTW.

 

One can only claim to be part of British Traditional Wicca if they (a) are formally initiated, by a lineaged member, into one of the groups that falls under the BTW heading, and (b) maintain a level of training and practice that is consistent with the BTW standards.

 

In other words, much like the Gardnerian tradition, you can’t simply proclaim yourself to be British Trad Wiccan.

 

Joseph Carriker, an Alexandrian priest, points out in a Patheos article that BTW traditions are orthopraxic in nature. He says, “We do not mandate belief; we mandate practice. In other words, we do not care what you believe; you may be agnostic, polytheistic, monotheistic, pantheistic, animistic, or any variety of other classification of human belief. We care only that you learn and pass on the rites as they were taught to you. Initiates must have similar experiences with the rites, though the conclusions they come to as a result of them may be wildly different. In some religions, belief creates practice. In our priesthood, practice will create belief.”

 

Geography doesn’t necessarily determine whether or not someone is part of BTW. There are branches of BTW covens located in the United States and other countries—again, the key is the lineage, teachings and practice of the group, not the location.

 

British Traditional Witchcraft

It’s important to recognize, however, that there are many people who are practicing a traditional form of British witchcraft that is not necessarily Wiccan in nature. Author Sarah Anne Lawless defines traditional witchcraft as “A modern witchcraft, folk magic, or spiritual practice based on the practices and beliefs of witchcraft in Europe and the colonies from the early modern period which ranged from the 1500s to the 1800s… there really were practicing witches, folk magicians, and magical groups during this time, but their practices and beliefs would have been tinged with Catholic-Christian overtones and mythology – even if thinly veneered on top of the Pagan ones… Cunning folk are a good example of the survival of such traditions even up to the mid-1900s in rural areas of the British Isles.”

 

As always, keep in mind that the words witchcraft and Wicca are not synonymous. While it’s entirely possible to practice a traditional version of witchcraft that pre-dates Gardner, and many people do it, it’s not necessarily true that what they are practicing is British Traditional Wicca. As mentioned above, there are certain requirements in place, put there by members of the Gardnerian-based traditions, that determine whether a practice is Wiccan, or whether it is witchcraft.

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The Guild Structure of British Traditional Wicca

 

Introduction

 

Within British Traditional Wicca (called in Britain simply “Initiatory Wicca”), there exists a structure known as the degree system. One’s first degree is initiation, or becoming one of the Wicca. Second and third degree initiates are acknowledged to be more experienced initiates of progressively greater skill, talent, or “power.”

 

But what does it all mean in practice? In order to answer this question, let’s discuss the parallels that the medieval guild structure has with the Wiccan degree system.

 

A guild was an association of artisans who controlled the practice of their craft in a particular town. A few guilds in France even gave rise to the earliest of the universities, where our modern academic degrees—bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate—retain this guild-like structure: apprentice, journeyman, master.

 

For those not conversant with matters medieval, here is a brief description of the guild structure.

 

Apprentices lived with their master while being taught the craft; parents paid for the apprenticeship. An apprentice did not marry until apprenticeship was over, and in return the master guildsman taught well. At the conclusion of apprenticeship, the youth became a journeyman, who had fully learned his trade but was not yet a master. He now earned a wage and was expected to save enough money to start up his own business. For the journeyman to become a master, he had to submit a master work piece to a guild for judgment. If the work were deemed worthy, the journeyman would be admitted to the guild as a master.

 

However, an extremely significant difference exists between the craft guild system and the Craft or Wiccan degree system. That difference is simple—there is no requirement for any initiate to seek elevation to a higher degree.

 

In the trade guilds, apprentices are expected to complete training in trade skills and rise to journeyman status as an employable worker in that trade. Mastery is not a guaranteed status, for that requires a certain aptitude or talent beyond the skills, whereas apprentices become journeymen or “flunk out.” In contrast, in the Craft an initiate may continue at first degree without seeking to achieve a higher degree, as they choose. Initiates may, equally, choose to seek elevation as they grow in their Craft and in their life.

 

Let me state clearly, here, that one must seek out training, initiation, or elevation in British Traditional Wicca. One must ask, or one does not receive; the Wicca do not proselytize. At the same time, asking does not guarantee that any candidate will be accepted for training with a coven’s outer court, initiated into a coven, or elevated to a higher degree. Receiving a yes or no answer from one coven may not be the final answer—but no is a valid answer. Coven leaders make their decisions for the good of their Craft and their coven. Often, no means “not now” or “not with these elders” or “I don’t know why, but my spidey-sense says not him, or not for us.”

 

Apprentice
Historically, an apprentice was contractually bound for a set period of time (usually seven years) to serve a master at a trade or craft—weaving, metal-smithing, carpentry, stone-working, etc. The apprentice’s duties were often simple labor at the outset, cleaning the shop and learning the most basic activities by observation and instruction: the names and uses of the tools of the trade; the materials used and how they were acquired, stored, readied, and put to use; and the social interactions of the shop, between customer and master, or master and workers, which might include lesser masters, journeymen, and other apprentices.

 

The duties of an apprentice were to learn his trade in all its aspects, and to keep the secrets of that trade. The master committed in his turn to train the apprentice in the specific trade—the obverse side of the contractual coin. The master provided instruction at the level needed and opportunities to learn by doing. He also corrected the inevitable errors of a novice and remedied the difficulties encountered in novice projects.

 

The first degree
In British Traditional Wicca, one’s “apprenticeship” begins with initiation. At the time of Gerald Gardner’s initiation in 1939, witchcraft was illegal in Britain. As described by Gerald Gardner, it was only during his actual initiation that he even discovered that the coven initiating him were witches. “I was half-initiated before the word ‘Wica’ which they used hit me like a thunderbolt, and I knew where I was, and that the Old Religion still existed.”

 

Gardner’s initiation was when he began to learn the Craft specifically. His long interest in matters magical and occult informed his witchy education, but it was not until he was a sworn “brother of the Art Magical” that any information was shared—be it written or oral or action. Like the apprentice of old, Gardner was oath-bound to keep the secrets of the Wicca.

 

In Gardner’s published non-fiction, he states that he may not describe the magical techniques and words that the Wicca use in their rites; he is keeping his oath of secrecy. For this reason, when writing his 1949 novel High Magic’s Aid, he instead used material from the 19th century McGregor-Mathers English translation of The Key of Solomon (a Latin grimoire of ceremonial magic) to flesh out the scenes that depicted magical workings (spells).

 

Our rites are transformative, productive of subtle change in those who undergo them. Any new initiate is exposed to words and actions and energies within the magical circle that are outside of prior experience.

 

It is often said that one’s first degree is especially about getting to know the Goddess, a reality necessitated by the patriarchal roots of modern culture, one in which the very title Pope means “father.” Like the apprentice, a new initiate has duties which are, primarily, to learn: to know the Wiccan calendar, to call a quarter, to structure a ritual, to memorize an esbat ritual, to cast a circle, etc.

 

Our solar-calendared rituals follow what is now called “the Wheel of the Year” in a neat progression of eight sabbats at the solstices and equinoxes alternating with the cross-quarters that begins at Hallowe’en. Hallowe’en, Candlemas, May Eve, Lammas, these are the fire festivals central to the Wicca. One sabbat ritual at a specific season is a scant introduction to that sabbat’s energies as well as its traditional ritual.

 

Think about it. You may remember one special Yuletide, but it is more likely that, for instance, you think of youthful summer camps or Mardi Gras events as a collective montage that is seasonal in nature and features a number of actions and feelings that mean that time of year to you. So it is with our sabbats. Doing them more than once takes more than one year.

 

For this reason, the lunar esbat rituals become familiar to the new initiate much more quickly. Celebrated once or twice monthly at full and new moons, frequent repetition aids both the memorization expected of initiates and aids them to perform the energetic steps that occur in creating, working, interacting with deities, and concluding any ritual circle. By the time initiates have completed a year working in coven, they have experienced at least twelve esbat rituals as well as the four fire festivals, and more likely all eight of the currently practiced sabbats.[6] They will have memorized the esbat ritual text and actions used in coven, and the annual progression of the sabbats have taught the basics of the Wiccan progression of seasons and energies. An experienced first-degree initiate can call a quarter, or all four, perform a simple traditional circle solo if required, work with an experienced partner to lead a pre-arranged esbat or sabbat within the coven, and aid in the general running of the coven. Energetically, the initiate will raise and ground energy as led by the coven leaders or elders.

 

If the initiate is working towards a hoped-for elevation to the second degree, the necessary first degree material has been completely hand-copied into the initiate’s own book of shadows. Likely the initiate has pursued individual own study interests in support of the coven or personal practice. Within a particular coven’s practice, the initiate may be assigned reading, writing, or practical exercises to complete as a part of training. Thus, sometime following that oft-quoted “year and a day,” a first-degree initiate may be elevated to the second degree.

 

Journeyman
Journeymen artisans were expected to do just that, journey. Travel from town to town, work with others of the same guild in which they had apprenticed, learn and share styles, materials, tools, and techniques. Like apprenticeship, a journeyman’s study could take years. Journeymen were paid a wage, might live apart from the master’s residence, often married and started a family.

 

To transition to mastery, journeymen undertook to create a master-piece, a piece of work by their hands that was adjudged to be work worthy of a guild master. And not every journeyman, sometimes called a “jack,” succeeded in becoming a master in his guild. “Jack of all trades and master of none” refers to a person unsuccessful in achieving master status. A competent journeyman often remained in his master’s business as a valued assistant and still might rise to mastery in time. In larger craft workshops, a number of masters might work in a common facility.

 

The second degree
Whether an initiate has been once or thrice round the Wheel of the Year and its sabbat cycle, elevation to the second degree brings many responsibilities and connections. First and foremost, second-degree elevation connects an initiate to the current of energy specific to initiatory Wicca. Such connection causes inevitable changes in an initiate—ones that need to be absorbed throughout her ensuing year and a day. The second degree carries a responsibility to the Craft as a whole.

 

The expectations for a newly elevated second-degree witch begin with getting to know the God, a task which often involves path-workings and underworld trance journeys.

 

Once the degree has settled, the second may guest with other covens, or attend multi-tradition open sabbats or classes of other traditions of witchcraft. During second degree work, initiates explore within themselves as well as without. Often second-degree initiates find challenges in dealing with their shadow selves, those parts which they’d rather not acknowledge, confront, resolve, nor have others know.

 

The duties of a second-degree witch include learning to teach magical skills, assisting the leaders of the coven, and learning the process of initiation to first or second degree.[9] The teaching requirement of second degree does not send our initiates out in search of converts; the Wicca do not proselytize. A second-degree initiate may have personal or family knowledge that interests the coven. For example, a student of eastern European ancestry might give the coven a class on traditional techniques and designs for dying pysanky, Slavic Easter eggs. Another may pursue research into home-brewing methods for making ritual ales or wines or meads, and share successful recipes in ritual. A working geologist may introduce the group to practical uses of natural minerals, including how to find the crystal that works—in contrast to the one that just looks pretty.

 

A second-degree practitioner may be given responsibilities beyond that of every coven member. A woman might be named “maiden” of the coven, often considered a deputy high priestess. Similarly, a man might be appointed “guardian” or “summoner” or asked to understudy the role of the high priest. Such understudy roles match the custom of the “maiden coven,” where its coven leaders are second-degree initiates growing into fully-fledged coven leaders under the guidance of their parent coven.

 

Underworld journeying, shamanic studies, divinatory methods beyond any yet used, Craft history, the second degree calls the witch to live the Wiccan path as much as study it. Inevitably, bumps and bruises, missteps and mistakes occur along the way. Often, coven leaders are called upon to assist with mistakes, correct missteps, cluck over the bumps, and salve the bruises… or not, as seems good to them. Sometimes a coven leader’s hardest task is to allow the error to occur, and wait until asked for assistance before deciding whether to act or to let be, to speak or to keep silent.

 

During second-degree studies, practitioners determine or discover any Craft specialties. They may have healing talent, and learn ways to use it within Craft as well as without. They may find they develop undiscovered psychic skills, or even the ability to teach them. A second-degree witch may choose a wider audience, presenting open rituals for the local pagan community, offering classes in herbs, stones, divination, or dance. Nothing in the tradition forbids such public teaching, and nothing in the tradition demands it.

 

Second degree also requires practitioners to step out of their comfort zone, another form of journeying. They may be adept at tarot but ignorant of astrology, talented at rhymed spells but unable to keep a steady beat on drum or rattle. Learning unfamiliar skills, stretching into tasks and techniques that are unfamiliar or outright alien, these challenges broaden practitioners while adding more tools to their witchy toolbox.

 

Unlike the first degree, once one has progressed to the second degree, one is expected to work to achieve the third degree. First degrees are practitioners, plain and simple, with but responsibility to their gods, their coven, and themselves. Second degree engenders a deeper change, imbuing a sense of having begun something which is less than complete… and an awareness of challenges to come.

 

Master
In the guild system, once a panel of masters in one’s own guild adjudged one’s submitted master work piece(s) as being of the standard expected of a master in that guild, then one became a master. To give an example, journeymen knitters in one 14th century European guild presented three items to be judged of master-work quality: a man’s shirt, a hat, and a carpet.

 

The third degree
One’s training in any degree truly begins when the ritual initiating or elevating one to that degree is complete.[10] Thus, Gerald Gardner was taught the secrets of the Craft only after his initiation. Similarly, once a candidate is brought to second or third degree, a period of further learning follows, no matter how well-prepared and how apt the candidate may be. At the same time, every BTW coven is autonomous—independent, a law unto itself. This autonomy means that the newly minted third degree witch—theoretically—springs forth fully formed with lore and wisdom at the ready. In practice, any new coven leader consults with her mentors while “finding her feet.”

 

Once the ritual that creates a third-degree witch is complete, that witch may move into leadership of her coven. She may remain in a supportive role to her coven leaders; for instance, she may be especially skilled in a magical ability, and talented in the teaching of it. In the mobile population and fluctuating job market of our modern society, she may find herself relocated from a region thick with BTW covens to one with but one or two across three states… or none. In such a case, any third-degree witch can found a coven from scratch, a time-consuming labor of love. Equally, she may simply work as “a witch alone” for a time.

 

By the same token, a witch may be head of the only BTW coven—as far as anyone knows—within several hundred miles, or encounter life-altering circumstances that put her in the midst of a metropolitan region where every second coven among a baker’s dozen is BTW. She might choose, in such a case, to join an existing coven… or even an elder’s coven, a rarity that occasionally blossoms.

 

All Wiccan covens are led by a third-degree priestess, called in BTW the High Priestess, and assisted by the priest of her choosing, usually also third degree, the High Priest. As with guilds and mastery, achieving the third degree moves a witch into some kind of a leadership role. Because covens are led by thirds, a new third-degree witch may step in to lead an existing coven, or “hive off” from the parent coven to form a new one.

 

Some of the lore and practice of the higher degrees are unsuited to less-experienced witches. For this reason, written, oral, and ritual practices are usually passed by coven leaders to first, second, and third degrees separately, most often individually. For example, a new initiate may never have experienced the intense combination of spiritual and physical energies that often occur during a magical working in coven. Thus, coven leaders must ensure that when initiates do encounter such, they recover successfully with any needed assistance. Further, coven leaders teach their initiates how to recognize and care for their own needs if working magic alone, as well as in coven, a common practice for many witches.

 

Any elder may choose to share written, oral, and ritual practice with any initiate as it seems needed, so that a first-degree or second-degree coven member might come to have some lore and material usually restricted to a third-degree witch. In an example of my knowledge, when a witch’s sister was stalked and assaulted with emotional wounds to the entire family, that witch consulted her coven leaders.

 

Those coven leaders chose to summon arcane aid to back up the mundane legal actions already taken—a restraining order, police charges filed, action for damages, and so on. In an arcane echo of these mundane actions, the coven leaders led a degree-specific circle of the second and third degree members of their coven, which then “bound” and “banished” the perpetrator from doing further injury. And so did that witch come to have written and oral lore—at second degree—which was usually reserved to the third degree.

 

Conclusion
Such is one of many duties of leadership, to ensure both the continuation and safe practice of our Craft, just as the master in a guild workshop both taught and oversaw safe practice of his craft. The Wicca do not proselytize; however, our elders find that a fair number of individuals seek out the Wicca hoping to learn magic, join a coven, work love spells, gain power, break hexes, acquire status, and so on.

 

A very few of those seekers discover that the more they learn about British Traditional Wicca, the greater the sense of coming home, of returning to a spirituality and deities they never knew they missed. And some of us find the teachers who “fit” for us happen to be of the Wicca… which is how my own journey into the Craft grew from chance meetings into my own initiation, and thence to hiving off and founding my own coven. A saying among us encapsulates this progression: “May the Gods preserve the Craft!”

 

Apprenticeships often included fostering; apprentices were housed and fed and clothed by their contracted master, living as a part of his extended family. I do not discuss this aspect of the master-apprentice relationship here, except to note that it existed—its relevance to Wicca is that a coven leader’s role often seems quasi-parental.

 

 

Wicca is often called an experiential religion for this reason—it is not about believing, it’s about doing, experiencing, and dealing with the result.

 

Historically, the four cross-quarter sabbats or “fire festivals” of Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, and Samhain or Hallowmas were the Wiccan large events; the solstices & equinoxes were celebrated at the closest full moon circle or esbat. A particularly successful Yule ritual in the late 1950s in Gardner’s coven led to the coven asking to celebrate the solar quarters as separate sabbats.

 

The phrase “a year and a day” describes one full year counted inclusively‚ a term used in mathematics but most often applied to the calendar. Example: one full week, counted inclusively, is 8 days Sunday through Sunday. The same effect arises in music, where an octave (meaning eight) higher is seven half-tones up from the original pitch.

 

At second degree, most North American initiates have the ability—but not the authority—to initiate another person into the Wicca; that authority remains with the third-degree coven leaders, who may appoint a working pair of second degrees to lead what is sometimes called a maiden coven. Initiations into such a maiden coven are performed by the second-degree leaders… whose authority to perform the initiations are granted by their elder third degrees. In contrast, some European BTW covens are led by second-degree initiates; the third degree being viewed as almost a spiritual retirement, or one undertaken by a working partnership together to complete the hieros gamos.

 

Between the two largest segments of initiatory Wicca, Gardnerian and Alexandrian, it has been said that Gardnerians initiate and then train to that level, different from Alexandrians, who train to a level and then initiate to match. These two methods represent the ends of a spectrum along which any coven may operate—if true in practice at one time, that practice has altered in most locations.

 

In the commonest North American practice, many third-degree witches are coven leaders. In other parts of the world, both second and third-degree witches are coven leaders, and as noted before, British and European covens are often led by second-degree practitioners. In either system, third-degree coven leaders become autonomous and independent.

 
Reference
Patti Wigington, ThoughtCo.com

Deb Snavely, Wiccan Rede Online