New, Old, or Returning to your Path…

New, Old, or Returning to your Path…

Author:   Darksky   

Firstly, like anything else in life no matter where you’re at in your stage, degree, or practice of the Magickal arts, you’re not the only one that has felt the way you do. We have all been overwhelmed, frustrated, unsure, or confused. New, old, or returning let me say congratulation and welcome! Taking the first step is always a big decision, but you did and now your here.

So now what? You have read everything in print, you have spoken to folks who practice the craft, you have heard from craft store owners, and of course people with their own witch/occult web site. I would say, take everything that you have heard with a grain of salt and do some research. Do not always take what you read or hear so literally. Getting into anything new or returning to it needs a point of origin.

Start with the basics, you cant do advanced work if you haven’t got a good working concept of the basics, and should you be rusty go back and review. True, there is so much to learn, but there are so many paths, traditions, and pantheons to experience. Patience, and being methodical will yield knowledge, safety, and rewards for all your hard work.

So…back to an origin, a jumping off point, Magick is the control of ones own environment, to be able to manifest change in ones self and ones surrounds. So how do we achieve this if we are not in control, distracted, or unsure? To just read books, take classes, buy tools, light candles, deal tarot cards, and attend seminars and book signings are merely actions. Magick without intention and intuition is incomplete and void. A magician needs to have confidence, intuition, and be able to infuse, inject, and penetrate every single aspect of his or her work with intention.

While magick is the art of control in order to manifest, it is also a connection with the universe, nature and the Lord and Lady, that is true, but more importantly it is a connection with ones self.
Self is so vital to magick. True magick is practiced without ego, but without knowing ones self, is it possible?

New, old or returning to your path, your thinking am I ready, have I read enough, how will I know if I doing it right? You may be thinking “I need a teacher, some one to tell me if I’m doing it right.” Sound familiar?

What you need is to learn to listen to yourself, feel the flow of magick, feel nature, feel the universe, and make and keep that connection with the Lord and Lady in your own way. Magick is without doubt, but it’s not without planning, studying, execution, re-evaluation, and perfecting. Never sell yourself short, or underestimate your abilities. I mentioned it before in another post, all the best and great magicians all started out on their journey the same as you and I, with a curiosity and yearning to be more, a feeling akin to something was missing, in short a calling.

You don’t need a certificate, or a degree program that says you are a witch. You will know if you are or aren’t. Would all the great magicians have been lesser practitioners if they had not attended classes? Don’t get me wrong, instruction is good and having someone impart his or her experience and mistakes can be an asset to your practice, if used as a resource. You need to make the magick you practice and craft your own.

Take all you read, hear, try, and are taught and refine it to suit your needs. What works for one witch may not have such a positive outcome for another witch. Write your own spells, your own rituals, make your own oils/incense. Study with out doubt, listen to what the elements, spirits, and the universe have to offer you and make it your own. Practicing the craft and being a witch isn’t the same for everyone. The early magicians that started out with the Golden Dawn took what they learned and applied and formed their own brand of magick. Alex and Maxine Sanders developed their own brand of magick; as did Gardner and Crowley, just to name a few. Christopher Penczak was a Laurie Cabot taught witch and he went on to develop his own brand, as I’m sure Laurie Cabot did.

Magick is personal, intimate, and forever growing. It’s always developing within all of us. Practicing the craft is just that it’s practice, hard work and commitment. Constantly revisit your BOS, and your rituals and styles of writing and preparations to become more in tune with the surrounds and yourself, until you reach a level of proficiency and confidence and belief, but in no way cocky or arrogant. Re-evaluate your workings, combinations of colors, planetary hours, days and nights of the week, and most of all your intentions and intuitions.

We all get a little lax in any en-devour and may look to a quicker way of doing things, and sometimes that a good thing. Magick and the practice of it, is not about the quick and easy way. Slow, methodical, purposeful, with anticipation and excitement. Never bite the magickal hand that feeds you.

So new, old, or returning to your path go slow, prioritize, research, meditate, question, experiment, re-evaluate, and keep silent, remember Crowley said, “Every man and every woman is a star”. Believe it!

_____________________________________________
Magic is believing in yourself. If you can do that, you can make anything happen.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Paganism is wholesome because it faces the facts of life.
Aleister Crowley

A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
Albert Einstein

Small is the number of people who see with their eyes and think with their minds.
Albert Einstein

“Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law, love is the law. Love under will.”
Aleister Crowley

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New, Old, or Returning to your Path…

New, Old, or Returning to your Path…

Author:   Darksky  

Firstly, like anything else in life no matter where you’re at in your stage, degree, or practice of the Magickal arts, you’re not the only one that has felt the way you do. We have all been overwhelmed, frustrated, unsure, or confused. New, old, or returning let me say congratulation and welcome! Taking the first step is always a big decision, but you did and now your here.

So now what? You have read everything in print, you have spoken to folks who practice the craft, you have heard from craft store owners, and of course people with their own witch/occult web site. I would say, take everything that you have heard with a grain of salt and do some research. Do not always take what you read or hear so literally. Getting into anything new or returning to it needs a point of origin.

Start with the basics, you cant do advanced work if you haven’t got a good working concept of the basics, and should you be rusty go back and review. True, there is so much to learn, but there are so many paths, traditions, and pantheons to experience. Patience, and being methodical will yield knowledge, safety, and rewards for all your hard work.

So…back to an origin, a jumping off point, Magick is the control of ones own environment, to be able to manifest change in ones self and ones surrounds. So how do we achieve this if we are not in control, distracted, or unsure? To just read books, take classes, buy tools, light candles, deal tarot cards, and attend seminars and book signings are merely actions. Magick without intention and intuition is incomplete and void. A magician needs to have confidence, intuition, and be able to infuse, inject, and penetrate every single aspect of his or her work with intention.

While magick is the art of control in order to manifest, it is also a connection with the universe, nature and the Lord and Lady, that is true, but more importantly it is a connection with ones self.
Self is so vital to magick. True magick is practiced without ego, but without knowing ones self, is it possible?

New, old or returning to your path, your thinking am I ready, have I read enough, how will I know if I doing it right? You may be thinking “I need a teacher, some one to tell me if I’m doing it right.” Sound familiar?

What you need is to learn to listen to yourself, feel the flow of magick, feel nature, feel the universe, and make and keep that connection with the Lord and Lady in your own way. Magick is without doubt, but it’s not without planning, studying, execution, re-evaluation, and perfecting. Never sell yourself short, or underestimate your abilities. I mentioned it before in another post, all the best and great magicians all started out on their journey the same as you and I, with a curiosity and yearning to be more, a feeling akin to something was missing, in short a calling.

You don’t need a certificate, or a degree program that says you are a witch. You will know if you are or aren’t. Would all the great magicians have been lesser practitioners if they had not attended classes? Don’t get me wrong, instruction is good and having someone impart his or her experience and mistakes can be an asset to your practice, if used as a resource. You need to make the magick you practice and craft your own.

Take all you read, hear, try, and are taught and refine it to suit your needs. What works for one witch may not have such a positive outcome for another witch. Write your own spells, your own rituals, make your own oils/incense. Study with out doubt, listen to what the elements, spirits, and the universe have to offer you and make it your own. Practicing the craft and being a witch isn’t the same for everyone. The early magicians that started out with the Golden Dawn took what they learned and applied and formed their own brand of magick. Alex and Maxine Sanders developed their own brand of magick; as did Gardner and Crowley, just to name a few. Christopher Penczak was a Laurie Cabot taught witch and he went on to develop his own brand, as I’m sure Laurie Cabot did.

Magick is personal, intimate, and forever growing. It’s always developing within all of us. Practicing the craft is just that it’s practice, hard work and commitment. Constantly revisit your BOS, and your rituals and styles of writing and preparations to become more in tune with the surrounds and yourself, until you reach a level of proficiency and confidence and belief, but in no way cocky or arrogant. Re-evaluate your workings, combinations of colors, planetary hours, days and nights of the week, and most of all your intentions and intuitions.

We all get a little lax in any en-devour and may look to a quicker way of doing things, and sometimes that a good thing. Magick and the practice of it, is not about the quick and easy way. Slow, methodical, purposeful, with anticipation and excitement. Never bite the magickal hand that feeds you.

So new, old, or returning to your path go slow, prioritize, research, meditate, question, experiment, re-evaluate, and keep silent, remember Crowley said, “Every man and every woman is a star”. Believe it!

———————————————————————————————-

Magic is believing in yourself. If you can do that, you can make anything happen.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Paganism is wholesome because it faces the facts of life.
Aleister Crowley

A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
Albert Einstein

Small is the number of people who see with their eyes and think with their minds.
Albert Einstein

“Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law, love is the law. Love under will.”
Aleister Crowley

Protect Yourself from Psychic Attack

 

by Christopher Penczak

The heart of magick is empowerment. Magick taps into your own personal resources and builds a bridge of harmony with the universe. Fear is the limiting factor of empowerment. Those who seal away their own magick build a wall with their fear. They fear other people’s opinions, the responsibility, danger and ultimately themselves. Fear is a weapon used by those who seek to control the power. Control mongers bombard society with messages of fear to spread their own power.

Healers, midwives and wise women were tortured and put to death during the Inquisition for using their knowledge and talents. The Church and the newly established medical profession wanted to keep their base of power, and the wise folk threatened them. Rumors of pacts with the Devil, evil witches casting curses and demons stealing children in the night were spread. The general public started to fear the wise folk, and newly developing psychics chose not to explore their gifts because of the social stigma associated with them. The lessons of the Inquisition were simple: Fear pain and death more than honoring your power. Learn to obey those in command. The higher power does not exist in you. You need others to tell you the truth. These are old lessons repeated over and over by dominating forces.

Due to present and past life associations with such propaganda, mystical explorers often fear their own power and the ability to do magick. They believe evil things are lurking about, waiting to snatch their souls. They fear being healers and teachers and do nothing, playing it safe. Unfortunately, the world needs healers and teachers, wise women and cunning men more than ever before.

Because of popular horror movies, books and Ouija boards, the world of magick is associated with the dark creatures that go bump in the night, ready to snatch us away. The good magick of fairy tales seems impotent by comparison, and as a society, we forget our ancient mythology. People with strong psychic, spiritual and magickal talents never tap these resources, fearing the worst will happen. First experiences can seem dark and mysterious, but we often encounter our own darkness and shadow selves, enabling us to make peace with them before we continue onward. I have heard many stories of “psychic attacks” from dark beings or even other practitioners, but 90 percent of the time, it is the victim’s own perceptions and fears reflected back. That is not to say there are not dark beings out there in the spiritual realms. There are, but these creatures are far less common than most people think. Fortunately, the techniques of protection work for both “real” and “self-created” attacks.

Psychic Attacks

 

Psychic attacks come in many forms. The simplest is an everyday experience. Someone says something bad about you, makes a judgment, calls you a name, yells or curses at you. The person is directing his or her energy in a harmful way toward you. If you are not strong enough in self-esteem and personal power, these little attacks take their toll.

Do not become paranoid with this information. Do not go running around accusing everyone who does not agree with you of a psychic attack. Such negativity is not meant as an attack. It is an unfortunate by-product of how our society conducts itself. This is a simple, subtle way harmful energy is directed. We all do it at times. Most often, we do it to ourselves. We judge ourselves as not worthy, not attractive, not lovable, and these images become thought forms, packets of energy, filled with a poor self-image. When people experience an “attack,” they usually are experiencing and clearing these thought forms. Be aware and responsible of your own thoughts, directed towards yourself and others.

Other thought forms and astral entities have a life of their own. You might feel a malevolent presence or voice. These are the reported demons and devils plaguing mystics. They take the form of your greatest fears. Their goal is your fear, your attention, your time and energy. They draw energy from you to feed their existence. Ignoring them is an easy way to break their hold. Laughter is even better. If you don’t take them seriously, they will lose power.

Many people believe in “psychic vampires.” They are not the blood-drinking variety from Hollywood movies or Anne Rice novels, but actual people who drain your energy. Psychic vampires are not usually occult characters, but ordinary people who drive to work every day, raise families and go to school. Usually, they are not aware of this problem. A very few are aware of their energy draining tendency, but lack the skills to stop it. We all know people who are tired, drained and depressed, people who latch onto others for their continual support and strength. Not everyone who is occasionally depressed is a psychic vampire. We all get depressed. Vampires are rather rare, and vampirism can grow out of this malady. Remember vampires are not usually consciously attacking you, and once you are aware of the phenomenon, you can stop playing into their games. With your knowledge comes empowerment.

The last kind of psychic attack is the most rare, coming from another practitioner of the magickal arts. These attacks come as curses, wishing bad luck, nightmares and psychic or mental pain. Usually, the person knows you and will have some vendetta against you. My mother’s godmother practiced folk magick in her Italian community and broke curses all the time. Belief and giving into the curse is the worst thing you can do. The more you feel you are cursed, the more the universe responds. No one can curse you unless you let him or her.

Psychic Defenses

All psychic defenses are based in building your own self-esteem, personal power and confidence. Some contain more physical acts, but ultimately it is your will empowering those acts.

 

To purify a space and prevent unwanted, harmful energy from entering, burn purifying herbs. Frankincense and myrrh are a favorite of both witches and the Catholic Church. Native Americans use sage, cedar and sweetgrass. Southern American cultures burn copal. You can also use lavender or cinnamon. These substances naturally clear a space. Salt absorbs harmful energy. Iron grounds the same energy. Horseshoes were pointed down and hung over doors for this purpose. Iron nails are placed in house frames for the same reason. Potions and oils made of these substances are worn for protection.

Magickal symbols of protection can be worn or drawn. Pentacles, crosses, the Star of David and the Eye of Horus are strong protection symbols, and you can usually find jewelry made with these symbols. Wear this jewelry with the intent of protection. A banishing pentagram, a star drawn starting in the lower left corner, dissolves harmful thought forms and removes unwanted spirits. Repeat it as many times as necessary.

During meditation, start by visualizing a shield of clear crystal around your entire body, about three feet away. State “This protection shield protects me from all harm and reflects love back on the source of the harm.” Never send energy back to do harm; it will again return to trouble you. Even if one attacks you first, you are not justified to curse back. By sending love, you neutralize the harm. Wishing good things on your enemies can be the key to defeating them. They will be so happy with what they have that they stop bothering you. Bless your harm away, and more blessings will return to you. Similar protection shield visualizations can be used around your home, car, loved ones and pets.

Sometimes binding spells are necessary. Write the name of the person meaning you harm on a piece of paper. Put it in a bottle, bound with black thread. Fill the bottle with sea salt, protection herbs, iron filings and things like John the Conqueror root. Seal the bottle and ask that this person harm you no longer. As long as you do not open it, the binding will last. You can put the bottle in your freezer or bury it in the backyard.

As a last resort, call upon your guardian spirits. Call on your guardian angel, your spirit guides or the Goddess and God. A student of mine protected himself by asking for help from Mother Earth and drawing Her energy up and directing it to the malevolent spirit. Be creative when protecting.

As you claim your power and grow in your magickal abilities, you will move in harmony with the universe and attract less attention from such darker entities. Others wishing you harm will effortlessly roll off you because you know your place in the cosmic dance of life. Nothing can make you skip a beat of your dance.

Christopher Penczak teaches witchcraft, Tarot and Reiki classes privately in Salem, NH, combining lightwork, chaos magick and multiculturalism into his magickal tradition. He is also the editor of

The Second Road newsletter. For more information, contact him c/o The Second Road, P. O. Box 2252, Salem, NH, 03079, or e-mail torcboy@aol.com.

 

The Power of Chanting

The Power of Chanting
By: Christopher Penczak


Sound, tone, voice, and music are powerful forms of magick and celebration.
Before I became a witch, the part of traditional religious services I loved
the most was the music; using song as celebration. When I got involved in
Wicca, the traditions I first learned were very stoic and formal. There was
no real song or chant involved in our Moon and Sun celebrations. I missed it
a lot, but felt there was no place for music in my new practice. At the time
I was a professional musician, completing my degree in music, but our
training in music history only delved into the sacred music of the Christian
era. Not much time was devoted to ancient civilizations or tribal lore. I
knew music was a part of the pagan world, but was not exposed to it.

When I explored other traditions of witchcraft – as well as mystical
traditions in yoga and Eastern religions – I found mystics using sound,
chant, and rhythm to do magick and create ritual. The more shamanic, primal
traditions would use chant and simple dance to raise energy and connect with
the spirit of the ritual. Simple repeated rhythms and melodies could induce
altered states and focus the will. I was so excited to find a religous
outlet for my musical _expression.

Later in my practice, I found myself the celebrant (or officiating high
priest) for a public pagan group that celebrated at Unicorn Books in
Arlington, Massachusetts. I had originally replaced a priestess who was no
longer able to commit to the group, and due to this shift, the group only
included around five participants at any time. Soon we formed an identity
and theme together, and the group began to grow. The rituals went from
intimate groups of five to ten people to larger and larger gatherings. Soon
we filled the room’s forty person capacity. Everyone was great, but coming
from different backgrounds they lacked a cohesive sense of tradition or
ceremony. We loved being eclectic, but needed to have some focus to bring
our group together. I needed to find a way to let everyone contribute to the
ritual and create a sacred space. After many fumbled attempts with a variety
of ritual techniques and tools, I relied on music as a common denominator.
Chant became the key!

As part of each of the eight Wheel of the Year celebrations in our little
loft space, I wrote a short chant with a simple melody, which we used to
raise energy. Those chants became the basis of the chants recorded on The
Outer Temple of Witchcraft CD Companion. We sang about the gods and
goddesses relating to each of the holidays. The chants focused our attention
raised energy, and helped get us into the moment as we passed the chalice
or anointing oil. The songs also helped teach newcomers the basic meaning of
the holiday, quickly relaying powerful themes and key words with the melody.

The use of music in our rituals totally transformed them, and is one of the
most popular parts of our celebrations. Because of my experience, I started
to encourage the use of more and more music in my smaller celebrations and
private coven rituals. I even use chants when I am doing rituals and spells
all alone. I highly suggest adding some music to your own rituals, no matter
the size.

Here are some tips in using music in your own circles:

* Find traditional chants and more recently composed ones that you can use.
Metaphysical stores often have a section of pagan music, song and chants.

* If you visit larger pagan festivals, you may be taught some of the
traditional chants if you don’t know them and can’t find a recording. Many
are passed along through the oral tradition of pagan gatherings. Take notes
and write down lyrics so you won’t forget.

* Use simple melodies with a limited vocal range so everybody can sing them
without straining their voices.

* Try setting pagan poetry to familiar melodies, such as well-known holiday
songs. Sometimes they sound silly, but they can be a great way to focus
everybody on a melody they already know sung with different words.

* Use simple beats and rhythms to keep the group focused – or use a drum to
help induce an altered state. Beats that fall on even numbers (based on
groups of two or four beats) are more direct and dynamic. Some consider them
more masculine. Beats based in 3, like the familiar waltz pattern, are
considered more feminine and have a connection to the triple goddess.

* Feel the music as you perform it. Let the vibration fill your body, heart,
and mind. Let it move you. When you are open to sound, you can make the
experience very healing or energizing.

* Don’t be afraid to be loud or to make a mistake. Sing with feeling and
worry about the technicalities later. If everyone is into the chant, that’s
more important than sounding perfect. Don’t make anyone feel bad if they
don’t have a perfect voice. Remember the circle is about Perfect Love,
Perfect Trust, and celebration. Keep the spirit alive when you chant and
when you pass the cakes. Each is an opportunity for love, compassion, and
transformation.

Original Post by Natural Wytch